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In writing these pages I have had before me a 
double purpose. First, to present to the general 
reader an account of what seemed to me to be 
a singularly interesting country, and one which, 
while being comparatively little known, has yet 
certain direct claims upon the attention of Eng- 
lishmen. Secondly, to provide a book which, 
without being a guide book, would at the same 
time give information practically useful to the 
English and Australian traveller. 

In sending this book to the press I have to 
acknowledge the courtesy of the editors of the 
Field and of Land and Water. To the former 
I am indebted for permission to make use of an 
unusually interesting quotation from Mr. Charles 
Ledger's letter to the Field on the subject of 



cinchona introduction, and also to include a short 
article of my own on " Horse-racing in Java" in 
Chapter XII. The latter has kindly allowed me 
to reproduce an account of my visit to the Bui- 
tenzorg Gardens, published in Land and Water. 

My general indebtedness to standard works, 
such as Raffles' " Java," and Mr. Wallace's 
" Malay Archipelago," and also to those gentle- 
men who, like Dr. Treub, most kindly placed 
their information at my disposal in Java, is, I 
hope, sufficiently expressed in the text. 

Professor Rhys Davids has very kindly read 
over the proof sheets of the chapter on the Hindu 
Temples ; and I take this opportunity of acknow- 
ledging my sense of his courtesy in so doing, and 
my indebtedness to him for several valuable 

The spelling of the Javanese names and words 
has been a matter of some difficulty. The 
principle I have finally adopted is this. While 
adopting the Dutch spelling for the names of 


places and in descriptions of the natives, and thus 
preserving the forms which the traveller will find 
in railway time tables and in the Dutch accounts 
of the island, I have returned to the English 
spelling in narrative passages, and in those 
chapters where the reader is brought into contact 
with previous English works. But I have found 
it impossible to avoid occasional inconsistencies. 
In my account of the literature of the island I 
have kept to the Dutch titles of Javanese works 
as closely as possible ; but I have modified the 
transliteration in accordance with the usages of 

English oriental scholars. 

W. B. W. 


i, Pump Court, Temple, E.C., 
November, 1892. 


a javanese actress. 





Hindus — Mohammedans — Portuguese — English — Dutch 
— Legal basis of Dutch possession — British occupa- 
tion — Return of Dutch — Culture system — Eruption 
of Mount Krakatoa ... ... ... ... i 



Area — Climate — Permission to travel — Chief objects of 

interest — Means of locomotion — Language — Hotels 1 7 



Dutch possessions in the East — Government — Army and 
navy — Administration — Development of natives — 
Raden Saleh — Native dress — Cooking and houses 
— Rice cultivation — Amusements— Marriage cere- 
mony ... ... ... ... ... 38 



Tanjong Priok — Sadoes — Batavia — Business quarter — 
Telephoning — Chinese Cam pong — Weltevreden — 
Waterloo Plain — Peter Elberfeld's house — Raffles 
and Singapore ... ... ... ... 62 





The temple remains generally — The connection between 
Buddha and Brahma — The Boro-Boedoer — Loro- 
Jonggrang ... ... ... ... 86 

Annex : The Routes to the Temples ... ... ioo 



Batavian heat — To Buitenzorg by rail — Buitenzorg — 
Kotta Batoe — Buffalo — Sawah land — Sketching a 
Javan cottage ... ... ... ... 103 



History of the Buitenzorg gardens — Teysmann — Scheffer 
— Three separate branches — Horticultural garden — 
Mountain garden — Botanical garden— Dr. Treub — 
Lady Raffles' monument — Pandanus with aerial 
roots — Cyrtostachys renda — Stelecho-karpus — Uro- 
stigma — Brazilian palms — Laboratories and offices 
— Number of men employed — Scientific strangers ... 117 



View of Mount Salak — Railway travelling in Java — 
Soekaboemi — No coolies — A long walk — Making 
zpikulan — Forest path— Tji Wangi at last ... 134 







Financial system previous to the British occupation — 
Raffles' changes — Return of the Dutch — Financial 
policy — Van den Bosch Governor-general — Intro- 
duction of the culture system — Its application to 
sugar — To other industries — Financial results of the 
system — Its abandonment — Reasons of this — Pre- 
sent condition of trade in Java — Financial outlook 147 

The Tji Wangi bungalow — Coffee plantations — Cin- 
chona — Native labour — A wayang — Country-bred 
ponies — Bob and the ducks — Loneliness of a 
planter's life ... ... ... ... 169 



Mr. Wallace and the Malay Archipelago — Animals — 
Birds — General characteristics of plants — European 
flora in mountains — Darwin's explanation — 
Fruits — History of cinchona introduction — Mr. 
Ledger's story — Indiarubber ... ... ... 186 



Dutch society in the East — Batavian etiquette — English 
residents — Clubs — Harmonie — Concordia — Lawn- 
tennis — Planters — Horse-racing ... ... 207 





The Hindu Javanese literature concerned with the past 
— Javanese alphabet — Extent of Javanese works — 
Kavi dialect — Krama and Ngoko — The Mahabha- 
rata and the Ramayana in Kavi — Native Kavi works 
— The Arjuna Vivaya — The Bharata Yuddha — 
Episode of Salya and Satiavati — Ethical poems — 
The Paniti Sastra — Localization of Hindu mythology 
in Java ... ... ... ... ... 223 



Uncertainty about the history of the Hindu kingdoms 
given by the chronicles — Character of the babad, or 
chronicle — Its historical value — Brumund's treat- 
ment of the babads — Account of the babad 
" Mangku Nagara" — Prose works — The Niti Praja 
■ — The Surya Ngalam — Romances — The Johar Mani- 
kam — Dramatic works — The Panjis — Wayang plays 
— Arabic works and influence — The theatre — The 
wayang ... ... ... ... ... 241 



Batavia and Singapore — Raffles' arrival in the East — 
Determines to oppose the Dutch supremacy in the 
Archipelago — Occupation of Java — Is knighted — 
Returns from England — Foundation of Singapore — 
Uncertainty whether the settlement would be main- 
tained — His death — Description of bingapore — 
Epilogue ... ... ... ... ••• 265 



Mount Salak, from the Hotel Belle Vue, at 

Buitenzorg ... ... ... Frontispiece 

A Javanese Actress ... ... ... ... vi 

Mohammedan Armour ... ... ■•• xii 

A Portuguese House, Batavia To face 6 

Chinese Barber ... ... ... ... 37 

Palace of a Native Prince ... ... To face 43 

Woman cooking Rice. Kompor ... ... „ 51 

A Bullock Cart ... ... ... ,, 54 

A Sawah Plough ... ... ... ••• 61 

The King's Plain, Batavia ... ... To face 67 

Bridge leading to the Pazer Baroe, Batavia ., 70 

The Waterloo Plain, Batavia ... „ 78 

Sketch Map of Java ... ... ... „ 89 

Section and Ground Plan of the Boro-Boedoer 

Temple ... ... ... ... „ 94 

A Javanese Cottage ... ... ... „ 114 

Natives squatting ... ... ... ■■■ 116 

A Happy Celestial ... ... ... 133 

A Produce Mill ... ... ... To face 156 

Rosamala Trees ... ... ••• „ 170 

Women barking Cinchona ... ... ... 176 

A Dalang ... ... ... To face 179 

Coffee Berries ... ••• ••• ••• 185 

A Wayang Figure ... ... ... ... 262 

The Esplanade, Singapore ... ... To face 264 

The Cavanagh Bridge, Singapore ... ... „ 282 






Hindus — Mohammedans — Portuguese — English — Dutch — 
Legal basis of Dutch possession — British occupation — 
Return of Dutch — Culture system — Eruption of Mount 

In the centre of that region of countless islands 
termed not inaptly the " Summer of the World," 
midmost of the Sunda group of which Sumatra 
lies to the west, and Flores to the east, with 
the fury of the tropical sun tempered by a physical 
formation which especially exposes it to the cool- 
ing influence of the ocean, lies the island of Java. 
Rich in historic remains of a bygone Hindu 
supremacy, when the mild countenance of Buddha 
gazed upon obedient multitudes, in memorials of 



Mohammedan, Portuguese, and Dutch seafaring 
enterprises, it is a country singularly alluring to 
the student and antiquarian. Nor is its present 
life less interesting. Densely populated by a 
simple and refined native race, who live for the 
most part in the midst of mountain glories and 
tropical verdure, itself the best example of a 
rival and successful system of colonization, 
modern Java is no mere tourist's country, but 
one which possesses, and always has possessed, 
special attractions for the man of science and the 
political student. 

From an immense mass of native tradition 
the main outlines of the history of the island can 
be disentangled with sufficient certainty. 

Javanese tradition universally speaks of a 
personage called Saka, variously termed warrior, 
priest, and god, to whom is attributed the intro- 
duction of the arts of civilization, and whose 
advent marks the opening year of the native 
chronology. The first year of Saka corresponds 
to the seventy-eighth of the Christian era. There 
can be no doubt as to the region from which 


this extraneous civilization came. Native tradi- 
tion and the vast religious monuments of the 
eastern and central districts alike point to an 
Indian colonization and supremacy ; for the 
temples of Java bear the stamp of a culture and 
of an artistic and architectural genius superior to 
that possessed by a race, the sole record of whose 
national existence is contained in the meagre 
tradition of an immigration from the western 
lands about the Red Sea. 

Sir Stamford Raffles, in his exhaustive history 
of Java, gives the names and dates of the Hindu 
monarchs, with an account of their conquests and 
administrations. But the native chronicles require 
to be carefully sifted, and to be supported by 
the record of the antiquarian remains, which 
supply an unfailing basis for, at any rate, 
the main outlines of the period. The oldest 
inscriptions are found on the west side of 
Buitenzorg, on river stones, and at Bekasi, on 
the east side of Batavia ; they are written in 
Sanskrit characters of the oldest period, and, by 
comparison with the. inscriptions of British India, 


indicate the existence of Hindu civilization in 
Java during the fourth and fifth centuries after 
Christ. The oldest dated inscription in Java 
(and in the Archipelago) is one bearing date 
654 of Saka (a.d. 732). This is now in the 
museum at Batavia. It contains twelve verses 
in the Sanskrit tongue, and is about four feet in 
length by two in width, and about ten inches 
in depth. 

The magnificent temple of Boro-Boedoer, of 
which Mr. Wallace * says, " The amount of 
human labour and skill expended on the Great 
Pyramid of Egypt sinks into insignificance when 
compared with that required to complete this 
sculptured hill temple in the interior of Java," and 
which will be separately described with the other 
religious monuments, was probably erected in the 
eighth or ninth century. It marks the highest 
point in the Hindu supremacy, and the time 
when the influence of Buddhism was supreme. 
At any rate, we have the witness of Fa Hian, 
a Chinese traveller, who visited the island in the 
* " Malay Archipelago." 


fifteenth century, to the effect that at this later 
period " the Brahmins were still very numerous, 
but the law of Buddha was no longer respected." 
The earliest European visitors tell us nothing 
of the two Hindu kingdoms, Pajajaran and Maja- 
pahit, so celebrated in the chronicles. They 
speak only of Sunda and its port Bantam ; and 
they mention a certain prince, Fatelehan, as 
completing the Mohammedan conquest in 1524. 
Raffles, however, following the chronicles, focusses 
the overthrow of the Hindu supremacy in the 
capture of the city of Majapahit in 1478 a.d. 
In spite of the traditions which speak of a 
long period of fighting, it is probable that the 
conversion of the Javanese to the new religion 
was gradual and peaceable, being in the main 
the result of commerce. The temples, the 
head-quarters of the old religion, show no traces 
of violence. They were destroyed, says Dr. 
Leemans,* simply by " carelessness, disuse, and 
nature," not by a sanguinary war. Long before 
the Prince Fatelehan conquered the western 
* " Boro-Boedoer Temples," by Dr. C. Leemans, a Leide 1874. 


kingdom of Sunda in 1524, Arab merchants had 
spread the principles of Islamism among the 
Javanese. It was just at the time of the estab- 
lishment of the Mohammedan power that the first 
Europeans made their way to the island. Por- 
tuguese writers say that their people, after the 
conquest of Malacca in 15 1 1, entered into relations 
with the inhabitants of Bantam, through Samian, 
a prince of Sunda, who had formerly lived at 
Malacca. Leme, a Portuguese sent by Albu- 
querque, Captain of Malacca, made a treaty with 
this Samian, and obtained permission to build 
a fortress at Bantam on condition that the prince 
and his subjects were protected from the Moors. 
In the realization of this object, an expedition was 
sent by the Portuguese king under command of 
Francesco de Sa ; but before it reached the 
prince Bantam had been taken by treason, and 
the Mohammedan power established under Fate- 
lehan. Henceforward the native rulers were 
Mohammedans, and the list of these sovereigns 
given by Raffles extends from a.d. 1477 to 
a.d. 1815. 


The Portuguese were followed by the Dutch 
and English after some considerable interval. 
The first Dutch fleet, under the command of 
Admiral Houtman, sailed for Bantam in the year 
1595. The prince, who was then at war with 
the Portuguese, allowed them to establish a 
factory there, and thus the first Dutch settlement 
in the East Indies was formed. Not long after, 
the English East India Company (immediately 
after their incorporation by Queen Elizabeth in 
1 601) despatched a force under Captain Lan- 
caster. He succeeded in establishing friendly 
relations with the prince, who sent a letter to 
the English queen, which is still extant among 
the state records. This is noticeable as being 
the first settlement of the East India Company; 
and as showing that Hindustan, which now means 
India for most people, was not the original "India" 
of the company. In the subsequent quarrels 
between the natives and the Dutch, the English 
assisted the former so successfully that at one 
time the Dutch had to enter into a convention 
with the native chiefs and the English com- 


mander, by which they agreed to surrender their 
fort at Jakatra and evacuate the island. On the 
conclusion of peace, however, between the Dutch 
and English in Europe, and on the arrival of 
reinforcements under Jan Pietersen Koen, they 
changed their plans, and, instead of retiring 
from the island, proceeded to lay the foundations 
of an extensive settlement at Jakatra. 

In the following year (1621) the name of 
Batavia was given to the settlement, and from 
this period onwards the Dutch continually in- 
creased their influence in the island, until in 1 749 
a deed containing a formal abdication of the 
sovereignty of the country was secured from the 
dying susunan (or Mohammedan emperor). In 
this the unfortunate prince " abdicates for himself 
and his heirs the sovereignty of the country, 
conferring the same on the Dutch East India 
Company, and leaving it to them to dispose of in 
future, to any person they might think competent 
to govern it for the benefit of the company and 
of Java." * It is by virtue of this deed that the 

* Raffles' " History." 


Dutch East India Company, and subsequently 
the Dutch Colonial Government, became prac- 
tically landlord of the whole island. Since the 
Government assumed possession of the soil they 
have gradually bought up the previously existing 
rights of the native princes, and in return have 
guaranteed them certain revenues, which have 
now become in most cases mere official salaries. 
Among the rights which the Government secured, 
by thus becoming landlord of the island, was that 
of receiving one-fifth part both of the produce 
and of the labour of the Javan peasants. This 
fact — that the mass of the Javan natives owed, 
as it were, feudal services to the Government — 
explains the comparative ease with which, nearly 
a century later, the culture system was intro- 

The English settlement at Bantam was with- 
drawn in 1683, and no effort was made to 
interfere with the Dutch until the year 181 1, 
w T hen, owing to the conquests of Napoleon in 
Europe, the island had become a mere French 
province. In that year a British force reduced 


Java and its dependencies. During the short 
period of British occupation (1811-1816) exten- 
sive reforms were introduced by Sir Stamford 
Raffles, the lieutenant-governor. These reforms 
had for their object the improvement of the 
condition of the mass of Javan natives, and the 
liberation of the industries of the island from 
the restrictions placed upon them by the monopo- 
list policy of the Dutch. Whatever may be the 
verdict of history as to the practical value of 
these proposals, the attempt to carry them out 
has at least left behind such a tradition of British 
justice as to cause a feeling of profound respect 
towards the English to be almost universally 
entertained in the island to this day. 

In the settlement effected by the Treaty of 
London, in 18 14, the British Government re- 
tained the Cape and Ceylon among the Dutch 
possessions acquired by conquest in the Napo- 
leonic wars, but Java and its dependencies were 
restored to their former masters. A right of pro- 
tectorate, however, over the neighbouring island 
of Sumatra belonged to the British crown until 


the year 1S72, when it was surrendered in return 
for equivalent rights on the Gold Coast of Africa. 
This concession has proved a veritable damnosa 
hcreditas to the Government of Netherlands 
India. The attempt to enforce the newly ac- 
quired rights over the Sumatrans resulted in the 
outbreak of the Atchinese war in 1873, an event 
which has involved the island of Java in serious 
financial difficulties, and imperilled the prestige 
of Holland in the East. 

A great part of the special interest which 
attaches to Java is derived from the fact that it 
has been the scene of an interesting financial 
experiment. The history of the introduction of 
the culture system, and of its gradual abandon- 
ment in recent years, is so interesting as to 
require a separate chapter to itself, and it is only 
necessary to mention here just so much as is 
essential for the purposes of a historical sketch. 
The author of the proposal was General Van den 
Bosch, who became Governor-General in 1830. 
The system continued in full operation until the 
year 1871, when the Home Government passed 


an Act providing for the gradual abandonment 
of the Government sugar plantations. By the 
year 1890 sugar, by far the most important of 
the Javan industries, was practically freed from 
Government interference. At the present time it 
is in debate whether or not the coffee industry 
should be similarly treated. 

This short historical sketch would be incom- 
plete without some mention of an appalling and 
unique event in the history of the island. On 
the 27th of August, 1883, the green-clad island 
of Krakatoa, which rises for some three thousand 
feet out of the waters which separate Sumatra 
from Java — the Straits of Sunda — was the scene 
of a most terrific volcanic discharge. Whole 
towns were destroyed in both islands ; but even 
more striking than the loss of human life and 
property is the fact, now satisfactorily established, 
that the discharge of ashes was so great as to 
cause a series of extraordinarily brilliant sunsets 
all over the world, while the force of the tidal 
wave was such as to affect the level of the water 
in the river Thames. In travelling from Batavia 


to Singapore, I was fortunate enough to meet 
with an officer in the employ of the Nether- 
lands India Steamship Company, who was able 
to give me an actual narrative of his personal 

experience of this wonderful eruption. Mr. S 

was at that time second engineer on the steam- 
ship Governor-General Lowdcn, belonging to the 
same company. I cannot do better than close 
this chapter with his narrative. 

" We were anchored off Telokbetong, in Su- 
matra, when the chief officer and myself observed 
a dark line out at sea which bore the appear- 
ance of a tidal wave. While we were remarking 
this, the captain (who was just then taking his 
bath) rushed on to the bridge, and telegraphed to 
the engine-room to steam slow ahead up to the 
anchors. I was engaged in carrying out this 
order when the wave came up to the ship. First 
she dropped ; then heaved up and down for 
some five minutes. There were three waves. 
When I came on deck again, the long pier, which 
had been crowded with Europeans who had 
come out of the town (they had experienced a 


shock of earthquake during the night), — this pier, 
the houses and offices, had disappeared, in fact, 
the whole town was gone. A Government steam- 
boat lying at anchor (with steam up) in the bay 
was landed high on the tops of the palm trees 
in company with some native boats. That was 
the first intimation we received that Krakatoa 
was in eruption, and from that time, eight o'clock, 
onwards through the day the rumbling thunders 
never ceased, while the darkness increased to a 
thick impenetrable covering of smoky vapour. 
Shortly after this we got under way, and pro- 
ceeded until the darkness made it impossible 
to go on further. It was while we were thus 
enveloped in darkness that the stones and cinders 
discharged by the mountain began to fall upon 
the ship. In a short time the canvas awning 
and the deck were covered with ashes and stones, 
to the depth of two feet, and all our available 
men were employed in removing the falling mass, 
which would otherwise have sunk the ship. We 
had a large number of natives on board, and a 
hundred and sixty European soldiers. The latter 


worked with the energy of despair at their task 
of clearing the deck, in spite of the twofold danger 
of being burnt and stunned by the hot falling 
stones. While we were engraved in this struggle, 
and enveloped in the sheer blackness of a veritable 
hell, a new and terrible danger came upon us. 
This was the approach of the tidal wave caused 
by the final eruption, which occurred about 12.30 
to 1 p.m. The wave reached us at 2 p.m. or 
thereabouts, and made the ship tumble like a sea- 
saw. Sometimes she was almost straight on end, 
at other times she heaved over almost on her 
beam-ends. We were anchored and steaming 
up to our anchors as before, and as before we 
managed to escape destruction. All the pas- 
sengers and the crew gave themselves up for 
lost, but there was no panic, and the captain 
handled the ship splendidly throughout. He 
received a gold medal from the Government in 
recognition of his indomitable courage in saving 
the ship and passengers. Well, you can fancy 
what it was like when I tell you that the captain 
was lashed with three ropes alongside the engine- 


room companion, while I was lashed down below 
to work the engines. The men were dashed from 
one side of the engine-room to the other. 

" When we reached Angier we found no trace — 
neither a splinter of wood nor a fraction of stone — 
of the buildings of that once flourishing seaport. 
At Batavia the water was so dense from the 
floating lava (the deposit reached fifteen feet in 
depth) that we made our way to the shore on 
planks. Telokbetong was closed for three or 
four months, and on our return to Achin we 
could not land our passengers. At Batavia the 
tidal wave had penetrated almost to the town, 
where in the lower portion the houses were 
flooded by the Kali Bezar (great river). Business 
was suspended except by a few determined 
spirits who worked on by gaslight, so great was 
the alarm at the darkness and thunderous noises." 

( n ) 



Area — Climate — Permission to travel — Chief objects of interest 
— Means of locomotion — Language — Hotels. 

Of the many travellers who have written 
accounts of their visits to Java, not one has 
been explicit in his directions as to the ways 
and means of reaching the various interesting 
objects which he has described. This may partly 
be accounted for by the fact that there are, 
indeed, no Titanic difficulties to be encountered. 
The districts to be traversed are furnished with 
excellent roads, and in part with railways, contain 
large and civilized towns, and are inhabited by 
a peaceable and industrious population. The 
difficulties, such as they are, can be overcome 
by the two necessaries for all except the most 



hackneyed excursions — time and money. In 
Java the former is, if anything, more important 
than the latter. 

Java — with which is included for all purposes 
the little island of Madura, lying off its north- 
eastern coast — is a long narrow island six 
degrees south of the equator. It is 630 
miles long, and averages 100 miles in breadth. 
Its area is 51,961 square miles, an extent 
slightly greater than that of England ; and the 
present population reaches a total of twenty-three 
millions. Like all the islands of the Malay 
Archipelago, its surface is diversified by great 
mountains (generally volcanic) and extensive 
plains. It is poorly supplied with minerals; 
coal is there, but not in workable quantities ; 
perhaps the only valuable mineral products are 
the clay, which is made into bricks, earthenware, 
and porcelain, and the deposits of salt in the 
Government mines. 

On the other hand, the soil is proverbially 
fertile. The chief products are best exhibited 
in connection with the four botanical zones into 



which Junghuhn has divided the island according 
to elevation : 


I. From the seaboard 
to 2000 feet. 

II. From 2000 feet to 
4500 feet. 

III. From 4500 feet to 
7500 feet. 

IV. From 7500 feet to 
12,000 feet. 

Moderately hot. 
Moderately cool. 

Rice, sugar, cin- 
namon, cotton, 

Coffee, tea, cin- 
chona, sugar- 

Indian corn, to- 
bacco, cabbage, 

European flora. 

The climate varies in accordance with these 
zones. Observations made at Batavia (on the 
coast), the only place where a record covering 
a sufficient period has been kept, give a mean 
of /S^c/ for a period of twelve years. The 
monthly mean shows a variation of only two 
degrees. The period from April to November, 
when the south-east trade winds prevail, called 
the dry or east monsoon, is slightly warmer 
than the remaining six months which make up 
the rainy season. The heaviest rainfall is in 
the months of December, January, and February. 
The chief characteristic of the climate of Java 
is, therefore, not so much its heat as its equability : 
it is rarely wet all day long even in the wet 


season, and at least one shower may be expected 
each day in the dry. 

In spite of its great heat Java is generally 
healthy, and, in cases of simple bronchitis, the 
climate is positively helpful. Of course the 
mountain districts are preferable to the plains, 
but in the ordinary routes traversed by travellers 
there are no conditions to be encountered which 
are adverse to persons in the enjoyment of 
ordinary health. Buitenzorg (close to Batavia), 
the summer residence of the Governor-General, a 
place which is to Dutch India what Simla is 
to British India, is especially healthy, being 
some seven hundred feet above sea-level. Tosari, 
again, in the eastern part of the island,, is a 
recognized sanatorium. It has a capital hotel, 
and lies at an elevation of six thousand feet above 
sea-level. This latter place is easily reached 
in one day from Soerabaia ; and close by is 
Mount Bromo, one of the most active volcanoes 
in Java, and one which is always covered with 
smoke. A three-mile walk will give the visitor 
an opportunity of seeing the boiling crater — a 


magnificent spectacle. Mount S'meroe, the 
highest mountain in Java (12,000 feet), is also 
in the neighbourhood. 

The best time to travel is the dry season, 
April to November, when the nights are cooler 
and the weather brighter ; and, of course, in 
travelling by carriage, arrangements should be 
made to avoid proceeding during the hottest 
part of the day as much as possible. 

The Dutch are nothing if they are not 
methodical, and in order to travel in Java certain 
formalities, which at first sight appear somewhat 
formidable, but which are really matters of form, 
have to be gone through. Any person intending 
to remain in the island for more than twenty- 
four hours must register his name with the 
police, and give them particulars of his age, 
birthplace, profession, last place of residence, 
the ship in which he arrived, and the name of its 
captain. He thereupon receives a document en- 
titled Toetlakings-kaart (" admission ticket "), 
which states that the person so named and 
described arrived at a certain date, "with the 


intention of residing in Netherlands India," and 
that he is permitted, " by authority of the 
ordinance of March 12, 1872, to reside in any 
of the chief harbours or ports open for general 
trade, and also at Buitenzorg." It is signed by 
the Assistant- Resident of Batavia. This "ad- 
mission-ticket " is not sufficient to authorize the 
new arrival to travel in the interior. For this 
purpose a second and still more imposing docu- 
ment must be obtained. This is an extract from 
the register of "decisions" of the Governor- 
General, and is to the effect that the petition 
of the undersigned So-and-so has been read, and 
" that the Governor-General has been pleased 
to grant him permission to travel for six months 

T " 

in Java. 

If the visitor wishes to enjoy any sport he 
will require a third document, signed by the 
Resident, to entitle him to " import the following 
weapon and ammunition, namely," his gun, "which 
is intended for his own use." It will be a relief 
to the reader to know that in my own case the 
documents confirming the grant of all these 


privileges were obtained at the cost of half a 
crown for stamps. 

Batavia, the capital of Java and the seat of 
government of the Dutch possessions in the East, 
is distant two hundred and fifty miles from Sama- 
rang, and four hundred from Soerabaia, the ports 
which respectively " tap " the populous central 
and eastern districts. While these two latter 
towns are connected by rail with each other, 
communication with Batavia is maintained at 
present by steamboats and post-carriages, since 
there is a break of one hundred and twenty miles 
— from Garoet, the terminus of the western 
railway, to Tjilatjap, a port on the southern 
coast — in the trunk line which is eventually to 
unite the whole island. Batavia, however, in 
spite of this drawback, is the natural starting- 
point for the visitor. In the first place, it is the 
port of call of the principal steamboat companies 
which connect Java with Australia, British India, 
China, and Europe ; and in the next, being the 
seat of government and containing the chief 
political and scientific authorities, it is the centre 


from which information and assistance of all 
kinds may be obtained. In particular, I would 
recommend a visit to the museum of antiquities 
at Batavia as an introduction to the study not 
only of the Hindu remains, but also of the native 
industries and manner of life. 

The subjects of special interest in Java may 
be grouped under five heads — the Hindu anti- 
quities, the native towns, the plantations, tropical 
plant-life, and sport. In the case of the three 
latter, the several neighbourhoods required to 
be visited are easily accessible from Batavia by 
the western railway. Soekaboemi, the centre 
of the coffee and cinchona plantations, and the 
head-quarters of the Planters' Association, is 
fifty miles distant. Buitenzorg, with its famous 
botanical gardens, is within an hour and a halfs 
journey. Here, in the various Government gar- 
dens and plantations, the plant-life of the whole 
Malay Archipelago is conveniently exhibited, both 
in its scientific and industrial aspects, and a 
strangers' laboratory is specially provided for 
scientific visitors. The Preanger Regencies — the 


best place for sport — may be described roughly 
as occupying the southern half of the western 
portion of the island. The chief towns of this 
district — Tjandjoer, Bandong, and Garoet — are 
all connected with Batavia by the same line of 
railway. Of these, Tjandjoer is the residence 
of the native prince, the Regent of Tjandjoer, 
who is the chief patron of horse-racing in Java. 

But the largest of the native towns and those 
in the neighbourhood of which the most im- 
portant of the Hindu remains are to be found, 
such as Soerabaia, Samarang, Solo, Djokja, and 
Mao-alanor are situated in the centre and east 
of the island. As I have before explained, the 
western and eastern railways are not yet con- 
nected, and therefore the railway alone will no 
longer be sufficient to convey the traveller to 
his basis of operations. In planning his journey 
to these towns he will have to weiofh the rela- 
tive advantages of three routes, and to con- 
sider the opportunities offered by three means 
of locomotion — railway, steamboat, and post- 


In another place* I have given in detail, with 
full information as to distances and expenses, the 
three possible routes to the temples from Batavia, 
and therefore I need speak here only in general 

The principal coast towns can be reached by 
the steamships of the Netherlands India Company 
(or its successor), which average about iooo tons, 
and are said to be fairly comfortable. As the 
fares are comparatively high, most people will 
prefer to avoid the discomforts incidental to a 
steamboat, augmented by the conditions of the 
place — natives and strange food. In travelling 
by road very considerable fatigue must be under- 
gone, and of course the expense is greater than 
that incurred in travelling by rail or steamboat. 
Also, as in such travelling smaller towns and less- 
known districts are traversed, it is especially 
desirable to have a " boy," or native servant (who 
can talk English), to communicate with the natives 
in the Javanese and Sundanese dialects, since in 
the out-of-the-way districts Malay is not under- 

* Appendix. 


stood. The railways are much the same as else- 
where, except that the rate of travelling is slower 
and the cost of travelling rather more than usual. 
As part of the railways are held by private com- 
panies, there is a slight variation in both of these 
particulars on different lines. The construction 
of railways in Java began in 1875. Ten years 
later there were 261 miles of private, and 672 
miles of Government, railways open for traffic. 
Since then this extent has been increased, but in 
1 89 1 the railway system was still incomplete, by 
reason of the gap between Garoet and Tjilatjap. 
There is another important consideration which 
will affect the choice of routes and of means of 
conveyance, and that is the question of language. 
The natives in the big towns and all servants in 
hotels and private houses speak Malay, which is 
the official language for communication between 
them and the Europeans. There is always sup- 
posed to be one man in each native village (or 
campong) who can speak this language. Malay 
handbooks are published in Singapore, and 
although such books cannot be bought, as far as I 


know, in Batavia, they can often be borrowed ; or, 
failing this, a few necessary phrases can be written 
down. Such a phrase, for example, as this : Apa 
nama inif ("What is the name of this ? ") will serve 
to supply the place of many vocabularies. The 
language, which from its soft sounding has been 
called " the Italian of the Tropics," is very simple, 
and seems to consist almost exclusively of nouns 
{i.e. substantives, adjectives, and pronouns). The 
verb " to be " and prepositions are often omitted, 
e.g. Pighi bawa ini Titan X — = " Go [and] take 
this [to] Mr. X — — ; " and most substantives can 
be formed into verbs. Combinations of substan- 
tives are used ; e.g. Kreta api (" fire-carriages ") = 
" railway." Again, many European words are 
adopted bodily. In sadoe a Frenchman will easily 
recognize a corruption of dos-a-dos ; ayer brandy 
(or ay 'er whisky), literally " water-brandy," will pre- 
sent no difficulties to the average Englishman. 
" Butter " is mentega, a Portuguese word. The 
vowels have the same value as in the Continental 

* The combination oe is pronounced u (or oo). 


It is obvious that the few words and phrases 
necessary for everyday life can be easily acquired 
in such a language, and most people will find the 
process rather amusing than otherwise. If, how- 
ever, it is desired to escape this trouble, or to 
gain a more complete knowledge of the ideas of 
the natives, a " boy " who speaks English can be 
secured at Batavia, who will act as valet and in- 
terpreter.* In communicating with the Dutch 
residents and the European shop-people in the 
towns, there is no difficulty experienced, since 
nearly every one can speak English ; if not, 
recourse can be had to French or German. 

In addition to obtaining the formal permission 
to travel already mentioned, in order to see native 
ceremonies and enjoy big-game shooting, it is 
necessary to get recommendations to the resi- 
dents of the native regencies, and in any case 

* The cost of such a " boy " is very small (labour being 
one thing which is cheap in the island). He is paid from 16 
to 18 florins (12 florins = £1) a month; and when travelling 
it is usual to give him a half-florin a day for food, otherwise 
the hotel charge for servants, one florin a day, must be 


it is desirable to have as many private intro- 
ductions as possible. 

But, however well supplied with such recom- 
mendations they may be, all travellers are sure to 
be more or less dependent on hotels. In Java, 
as in other tropical countries, the hotels are large 
one or two storied buildings, with rows of rooms 
opening upon broad verandahs screened with 
bamboo blinds, and arranged round courtyards 
planted with trees. The general living-room and 
the dining-room have one or more sides open 
to the air, and are arranged with a view to 
coolness. The style of cooking in Dutch India 
is different from that in British India, and has 
one special peculiarity the — rice table, which will 
be described hereafter ; and of course there are 
minor differences, depending upon the conditions 
of the place and society. To persons who are 
prepared to enjoy life (and this is the spirit in 
which one should travel), the little eccentricities 
and deficiencies will be a source of amusement, 
and give additional zest to the travelling ex- 
perience. But no invalid or dyspeptic should 


enter the portals of a Javan hotel. As for 
accommodation, suites of rooms can be engaged, 
but the ordinary traveller has a large bedroom 
with the proportion of the verandah belonging to 
it ; this latter is fitted with a bamboo screen, 
table and chairs, and a hanging lamp, and is for 
all intents and purposes a sitting-room. The 
bedroom also is furnished with a view of 
securing coolness ; the floor is covered with 
matting, and the furniture is not very luxurious ; 
its chief feature is a tremendous bedstead. Now, 
a Javan bedstead is quite sui generis, and requires 
a ground plan. The ordinary size is six feet 
square. It is completely covered with mosquito 
curtains, and has no clothes, the broad expanse 
being broken by two pillows for the head and 
a long bolster (called a Dutch wife) which lies 
at right angles to the pillows. This latter is 
one of the numerous contrivances for securing- 
coolness. The ordinary routine of hotel life is 
much the same as elsewhere in the island. At 
half-past six a coolie comes to the door and 
awakes you, bringing tea or coffee when you 



want it. Some time subsequently you proceed 
in pyjamas, or (if a lady) in a kabaia (or loose 
jacket) and sarong (native dress) to the bath- 
room, which is an important feature in every 
Eastern hotel. Generally speaking, it is not so 
very much removed from what Mr. Ruskin 
would desire. It is a large room with bare 
walls and a marble floor, on which is placed a 
cistern or jar of water, from which water is taken 
with a hand-bucket and poured over the bather, 
who stands upon a wooden framework. The 
water runs away from the edges of the room, 
but I never felt quite sure that it didn't come 
back again afterwards. The walls are sometimes 
decorated with mirrors, and there is often an 
arrangement for a shower-bath. But very 
generally the bather has nothing but bare walls 
and a huge earthen jar such as Aladdin and 
the forty thieves would use at Drury Lane. 
At Singapore this same arrangement obtains, 
and there it is related that a young midshipman, 
going to the bath-room and being confronted by 
a bare interior with nothing but the big jar in 


the middle of it, very naturally concluded that 
this was the bath. He quickly stripped and got 
into it ; but once in he found it impossible to get 
out again. After vain endeavours, he rolled the 
big jar over bodily, and, smashing it on the floor, 
triumphantly emerged from the fragments. His 
friends afterwards pointed out to him that there 
was a hand-bucket there, and enlightened him as 
to its uses. 

Breakfast consists of light breads, eggs, cold 
meat in thin strips, and fruit, and is served about 
nine. After breakfast any serious business should 
be accomplished before the great heat of the day 
sets in. At 12.30 rice-table (or tiffin)commences. 
This is a serious meal, and must carry you on till 
eight o'clock in the evening. The first dish, or 
rather series of dishes, is that from which the 
meal takes its name — rice-table. In partaking of 
this the visitor first places some boiled rice upon 
a soup plate, and then on the top of it as many 
portions of some eight or ten dishes which are 
immediately brought as he cares to take — omelette, 
curry, chicken, fish, macaroni, spice-pudding, etc. ; 



and, lastly, he selects some strange delicacies 
from an octagonal dish with several kinds of pre- 
pared vegetables, pickled fish, etc., in its nine 
compartments. After this comes a salad, some 
solid meat (such as beefsteak), sweets, and fruit. 
Finger-glasses are always provided, and one 
notices that the salt is always moist, and also 
that it is not customary to provide spoons for 
that article. At four, or thereabouts, tea is 
brought to your room. This serves to rouse you 
from your siesta, and you then proceed (being by 
this time again in pyjamas) to take your second 
bath. After that, European garments are worn, 
and it is cool enough either for driving or walk- 
ing. The dinner, which is served at eight, is 
much like an ordinary a la Russe dinner, except 
that there are rather more small vegetable dishes 
than is customary elsewhere. 

In the Hotel der Nederlanden at Batavia (and 
there are plenty of others like it) there is some- 
thing of the life which is described as belonging 
to the baths in ancient Roman watering-places. 
Imagine a long courtyard, with deep verandahs, 


trees only screening you from the opposite side ; 
around you men in pyjamas, with their feet rest- 
ing on the arms of their easy-chairs, smoking 
or taking various iced drinks from long glasses ; 
ladies dressed in the beautiful native crarment 


(the sarong) and the lace-trimmed white jacket 
(the kabaia), promenading with children. Oppo- 
site you is a little Dutch maiden, whose golden 
hair and white skin contrasts with the dark com- 
plexion of her baboe, or nurse. She is dressed in a 
flowing white robe, and is putting on her stockings 
in the most negligd attitude, for it is now time to 
go out — 4 p.m. — while her mother stands by and 
scolds her. Everywhere coolies are squatting on 
the ground in their bright garments, or standing 
busied with the ordinary duties of service, and 
baboes are playing with their little charges. You 
are yourself dressed in such a way that you 
would probably feel uncomfortable were you dis- 
covered so dressed in your dressing-room at 
home ; but here you feel perfectly at ease — such 
is the magical effect of climate — whether prome- 
nading in your loose garments or reclining in 


your easy-chair and gazing coolly upon the occu- 
pants of the carriages which cross the courtyard. 
Or perhaps you are engaged in a chaffing-match 
with one of the native vendors — Chinese, Malay, 
or Javanese — who are ever ready to persuade 
you to buy the commonest trifles at the most 
fancy prices. 

The native servants are very quick and willing 
to do the visitor's commands ; indeed, disasters 
generally arise from an excess of diligence on 
their part. For instance, in a damp climate it is 
an excellent general rule for your "boy" to keep 
your clothes aired by laying them in the sun two 
or three times a week ; but it is a trifle embarrass- 
ing to a modest and impecunious person to see 
the whole of his wardrobe exhibited urbi et orbi 
in front of his room on the verandah. The 
pyjamas, suspended in airy fashion, floating in the 
wind ; the coats and trousers hung up on strips of 
wood so that their full extent is exposed to the 
sun and air ; the pair of pumps, on which only last 
night he had congratulated himself as looking 
quite smart by gaslight, now standing confessed 



in all the unseemliness of bulging sides and torn 
lining ; even the domestic slippers too. Yet such 
was the scene which met my gaze as I returned 
from breakfast at nine o'clock in the courtyard of 
the Hotel Belle Vue at Buitenzong. Trop de zele, 
I thought. 






Dutch possessions in the East — Government — Army and navy 
— Administration — Development of natives — Raden Saleh 
— Native dress — Cooking and houses — Rice cultivation — 
Amusements — Marriage ceremony. 

The Netherlands India, as the Dutch possessions 
in the East are officially styled, includes the 
whole of the Malay Archipelago, with the ex- 
ception of the Philippine Islands belonging to 
Spain, part of Borneo in the possession of the 
North Borneo Company, and the eastern half 
of New Guinea, which is shared by Germany 
and England. The total area is officially stated 
to be 719,674 square miles, and the total popu- 
lation 29,765,031. It is administered by a 
Governor-General, a Government secretary, and 
a Council of State consisting of five members, 


who are appointed from among the chief Dutch 
residents in the island of Java. As all matters of 
general policy are controlled by the Secretary for 
the Colonies, who is a member of the Home 
Government, the functions of the Colonial Go- 
vernment are mainly executive and consultative. 
So close is the connection that the colonial esti- 
mates for revenue and expenditure have to receive 
the approval of the Home Government before 
they can be carried out. Moreover, the various 
Government officials scattered through the Archi- 
pelago are responsible to the Secretary for the 
Colonies. There are colleges established both in 
Holland and in Batavia in which the young men 
intended for the colonial service can receive a 
suitable training. 

The physical sanction upon which the Dutch 
authority rests is an army of thirty thousand men, 
composed of Dutch, Germans, Swiss, Italians, 
and natives, but officered exclusively by Dutch- 
men, and a navy of fifty ships. Of these troops, 
a large proportion (amounting in 1891 to 16,537) 
are native. The head-quarters of the army 


is fixed at Batavia. There are barracks at 
Weltevreden, and at Meester Cornells in the 
capital, and additional accommodation has been 
recently provided at Buitenzorg. The fleet is 
stationed at Soerabaia, a town which possesses 
the best harbour in Java, and which is con- 
veniently situated at the other end of the island. 
There are, however, a few ships always stationed 
at Batavia. The greater proportion of the fleet 
is composed of the ships of the Netherlands 
Indian navy, which is permanently stationed in 
the Archipelago ; but there are among them 
some ships belonging to the Dutch navy, which 
are relieved every three years. 

At the present time, the chief occupation of the 
colonial forces is the establishment of the Dutch 
authority in Sumatra. Since 1874 the natives of 
Achin have successfully resisted the Dutch, and 
the Achin war has proved so costly and so 
disastrous, that the Home Government have 
ordered the operations of the troops to be con- 
fined to such as are purely defensive. Acting 
under these instructions, the colonial forces have 


retired behind a chain of forts, and all attempts 
to advance into the interior have been abandoned. 
Last year (1891), Baron Mackay, the Secretary 
for the Colonies, was able to assure the States 
General that " excellent results were expected 
from the blockade system," now adopted, and 
that the Achinese were already beginning to feel 
the inconvenience of being cut off from their 
supplies of necessaries, such as opium and tobacco. 
Java is by far the most important of the islands 
of the Malay Archipelago. Its population is 
four times that of the total population of the 
remaining Dutch possessions in the East. This 
population is divided as follows (1890) : — 

Europeans. Chinese. Arabs. Orientals. Natives. Total. 

48,783 237,577 13,943 1806 22,765,977 23,064,086 

With the exception of the Chinese, the great 
retail traders of the Malay countries, almost the 
entire population of the island is " native." This 
term includes various branches of the Malay race, 
of which the chiefs are the Javanese and Sundanese, 
occupying respectively the east and west of the 


island. Separate dialects are also spoken by the 
people of Bantam and Madura. There is little 
to distinguish the two chief races, except that the 
Javanese are more warlike and spirited than the 
Sundanese, who are somewhat more dull and 
almost entirely agricultural. Speaking generally, 
the native population of Java is but little inferior 
in intelligence to the native population of India, 
while in some respects — in particular, in the 
readiness shown by the native princes to assimi- 
late European learning and customs, and in a 
certain artistic sensibility manifested by the whole 
people — they resemble the inhabitants of Japan. 

The majority of the Javanese natives are 
employed in the cultivation of rice ; in work on 
plantations, sugar, coffee, cinchona, and tea ; and 
in various lesser industries, such as the making of 
mats and weaving of sarongs. They are also by 
no means unskilful as workers in clay, wood, and 
metals, and as artisans generally, and are success- 
fully employed by the Government in working 
the railways and post and telegraph services. 

For purposes of administration the island is 

3fr 5 

'A • eJ 


•1 "7. 









divided into twenty-four residencies. Each resi- 
dency is further divided into districts, and finally 
into campongs, or townships. It will be remem- 
bered that when, at the end of the eighteenth 
century, the Dutch Government took over the 
island from the East India Company, they 
received possession of the soil, subject only to 
such limitations as the company had already im- 
posed upon their ownership. Since that time 
the Colonial Government has pursued a policy 
in Java similar to that pursued by the British in 
India, by which the native princes have been 
gradually induced to part with their territorial 
rights and privileges, and to accept in return 
proportionate monetary compensations. At the 
same time the services of these " princes " have 
been utilized in the work of government. As a 
result of this latter, the sums paid originally as 
incomes equivalent to the revenues derived from 
the rights surrendered have now come to be of 
the nature of official salaries. Most of these 
regents, as the native princes are called, receive 
from two to three thousand florins a year ; but 


some one or two, such as the Sultan of Djokja, 
and the Regent of Bandong, receive as much as 
seventy or eighty thousand florins. The Dutch 
have wisely employed as much as possible the 
social organization which they found in existence, 
and native authorities and institutions have been 
supplemented by European officials. In each 
residency there is, therefore, a double set of 
officials, European and native. First of all, there 
is the Resident, who resides at the chief town, and 
is the head of all officials, European and native. 
Under him there are Assistant-Residents, contro- 
leurs, and assistant-controleurs. The controleur 
is an official more especially connected with the 
Government plantations, and the regulation of the 
industrial relations between the planters and the 
peasants, or coolies, is an important duty which 
he fulfils. The Regent is the head of the native 
officials, but of course inferior in authority to the 
Resident, whom he calls his " Elder Brother." 
Under him is an officer called a patzh, and then 
wedanas, assistant-wedanas, and ultimately the 
village chiefs, or loerahs. In addition to these 


there is a further official called a jaksa, who 
ranks above the wedanas, and receives informa- 
tion of any offences committed. In the villages 
the loerahs act as policemen, but in the towns 
there are regular native policemen, called oppas, 
who also attend on the wedanas. In each 
residency there is a court of justice, consisting 
of a president, who is a paid legal official, a clerk 
of the court, and a pangoeloe, or priest, for ad- 
ministering oaths. In this court the jaksa sits as 
native assessor to the European judge-president. 
There are superior courts at the three great 
towns, Batavia, Samarang, and Soerabaia, and a 
supreme court at Batavia. Murder and crimes 
of violence are generally rare, but small thieving 
is common throughout the island. 

The religion of the Javanese is Mohammedan- 
ism; although Brahmanism still survives in some 
of the islands of the Archipelago, it has entirely 
disappeared from Java. Until recent years the 
Colonial Government have discouraged any efforts 
directed towards the conversion of the natives to 
Christianity. The quietism of the Mohammedan 


creed was regarded as better adapted to supply 
their religious needs than the doctrines of the 

Of late years, however, a more generous policy 
has prevailed. As the mass of the Javanese 
regard the native princes as traitors and apostates, 
the Arab priests and hadjis have come to be 
recognized as the popular leaders. It is they, 
and not the princes, who now form the dangerous 
element. The priests are jealous of European 
influence, and are ready to incite the natives to 
revolt if occasion offers, but in any outbreak the 
native princes are the first to be attacked. A 
revolt in Bantam had occurred some twelve 
months before the date of my visit (1890). In 
return for some injustice, the Resident and his 
wife and children were put to death by mutilation. 
The village in which this took place was near 
Serang, the capital town of Bantam, and only 
seventy miles from Batavia, and military assist- 
ance was obtained from both of these places. 
The troops from Serang arrived in time to find 
the body of the Resident's wife still heaving with 


the action of breathing. Fifty or sixty of the 
natives were brought to justice for this murder, 
and six of the ringleaders were shot. I was told 
that there were numerous secret societies existing 
in the country, controlled by the Mohammedan 
authorities in Arabia, and absolutely hidden 
beyond the reach of the Government.* 

The question of the moral and mental develop- 
ment of the Javanese natives is one which has 
lately been much discussed, both in Java and in 
Holland, and the result has been that the Colonial 
Government is now fairly pledged to a humani- 
tarian policy. The large sum annually appro- 
priated in the colonial budget to the purposes of 
public instruction, is a sufficient evidence of the 
reality of the desire now manifested by the 
Dutch to give the natives of Java full oppor- 
tunities for the education and training necessary 

* At the time of writing I have come across the following 
paragraph in the Java news column of the Singapore Free Press 
for February 23, 1892 : "The Nieuwsblad notes the arrival of a 
Turk from Singapore in the Sfentor, who is suspected of having 
the intention to stir up the natives of Java. The police arc- 
paying attention to him." 


for technical and industrial progress. There can 
be no doubt as to the capacity of the natives to 
benefit by such advantages. When D'Almeida 
visited the island thirty years ago, he paid a visit 
to Raden Saleh, a native artist, who had been 
sent to Holland to be educated there at the 
expense of the Colonial Government. He had 
lived for twenty-three years in Europe, residing 
both in that country and in Germany, and follow- 
ing the profession of an artist. He was chiefly 
distinguished as an animal-painter, and made 
such progress in art that he was commissioned 
by the late Prince Consort to paint two pictures 
for him, illustrative of Javan life and scenery. 
Raden Saleh subsequently returned to his native 
country, and D'Almeida found him residing in 
an artistically furnished house with large and 
beautiful gardens near Batavia. In the course 
of this visit he was asked whether there were 
any other Javan artists who had attained similar 
proficiency. He replied, " Cafe et sucre, sucre 
et cafe, sont tout-ce qu'on parle ici. C'est vrai- 
ment un air triste pour un artiste." 


The artistic perception inborn in the Javan 
natives is nowhere more clearly manifested than 
in the colour and form of their dress. Nothing 
impresses the visitor more quickly or more 
pleasantly than the gay and graceful groups 
which throng the streets or roads. The light 
cottons and silken cloths which the natives wear 
are admirably suited to the climate, and an 
exquisite taste seems to govern the selection of 
colours and the fashion of wearing their garments. 
Both men and women alike wear the sarong, a 
long decorated cloth wound round the lower limbs 
and fastened at the waist ; over this the former 
wear a badjoe, or short open jacket, and the latter a 
kabaia, or cloak, closed at the waist by a silver pin 
(peniti), and reaching down almost to the bottom 
of the sarong. Over the right shoulder is grace- 
fully flung a long scarf called a slendang, used by 
mothers to carry their babies, and by the men as 
a belt when they are engaged in any active work. 
A square cloth (kain kapala) is worn on the head 
by men ; it is folded in half diagonally, and then 
folded over and round the head until it looks 



much like a turban. On the top of this a wide 
straw hat (variously shaped) is carried, to protect 
the wearer against the sun. The women, on the 
contrary, wear nothing but their glossy black hair, 
or carry a bamboo umbrella if they wish for 
a similar protection. 

The native weapons are the bamboo spear, and 
the short wavy sword called a kriss ; but the only 
arm they carry nowadays is a golok, or straight 
piece of iron with a handle and sheath, used for 
lopping off boughs and cutting wood. The better 
class of natives use European furniture, but the 
ordinary peasants and artisans, who live in a 
bamboo cottage, use nothing but a single bed on 
which the whole family sleep, and a chest for 
clothes, both made, like the house, of bamboo. 

The staple diet is rice and dried fish, with 
vegetables and fruits : cakes and pastry are rare 
luxuries, and purchased at the market or from 
itinerant vendors. The cooking arrangements 
are very simple. Nearly everything is cooked in 
a priok, or frying-pan, which is heated over a 
kompor, or stove of earthenware, or on bricks on a 




flat stove raised from the ground. In both cases 
charcoal is burnt, being made to burn brightly by 
a fan. The rice (which is to them what bread is to 
us) is not boiled, but steamed. A copper vessel 
{dang-dang) is filled with hot water, and the rice is 
then placed in a cone-shaped bamboo basket 
(koekoesan), which is placed point downwards into 
the vessel and covered with a bamboo or earthen- 
ware top (kekep). The dang-dang is then placed 
over the fire either in the kompor or on the bricks. 
Rice culture is the natural pursuit of the Java- 
nese or Sundanese native. Coffee, sugar, and tea 
he cultivates on compulsion for wages with which 
to pay his taxes. Now the land of Java is divided 
into two classes, land capable of being inundated 
by streams or rivers called sawah, and land not 
so inundated called tegal, or gaga. On the latter 
only the less important crops, such as mountain 
rice or Indian corn, are grown. On sawah land 
the rice is grown in terraces, which are so 
arranged that, without any machinery for raising 
or cisterns for storing the water, a perfectly 
natural and perpetual supply is gained from the 


high mountains, which serve here the same use- 
ful purpose that the great river Nile does in 
Egypt. The small fields are worked with the 
patjoel, a sort of hoe, and the large with the 
plough {wloekoe), and then inundated. After ten 
or fifteen days they are hoed again, so that any 
places not reached by the plough or hoe may 
be laboured, and the intervening banks kept 
free from weeds and consequently made porous. 
The lar£e sawahs are also harrowed with the 
garoe ; and, finally, small trenches are cut for the 
water to flow from one terrace to another. 
When the earth has thus been worked into a 
mass of liquid mud, the young plants are trans, 
planted from the beds in which they have been 
sown about a month previously, and carefully 
placed in this soft mud. Inundation is necessary 
until the rice is nearly ripe, which is naturally 
about August or September. It is reaped with 
a short knife called ani-ani, with which the reaper 
cuts off each separate ear with a few inches of 
the stem ; and the ears are then threshed by 
being placed in a hollow tree trunk and there 


stamped with a toemboekan, a heavy piece of wood 
with a broad end. The lands are ploughed, 
harrowed, and weeded by the men, but the trans- 
planting, reaping, and threshing is done by 

A curious circumstance in rice-cultivation is the 
fact that side by side the crops may be seen in 
each of the separate stages, planting and reaping 
often going on simultaneously. Beside the rice, 
a crop of beans or sweet potatoes is grown in the 
year, and the flooded terraces are also utilized as 
fish-tanks, in which gold-fish are grown to the 
length of a foot and a half and then eaten. They 
are brought to the market in water, and so kept 
fresh, and, if not sold, are of course returned to 
their " pastures " again. 

The sawah plough is an interesting study. 
It is made in three pieces — the pole {tjatjadan) ; 
the handle (patjek), which fits into the iron-shod 
share [singkat). To this is attached a crosspiece 
or yoke (depar), fitted with a pair of long pegs 
coming over the necks of the oxen or buffaloes, 
and a crosspiece hanging under their necks and 


fastened to the yoke by native cord. The 
ploughman holds the tail of the plough with 
the left and the rod-whip (petjoet) with the 
right hand. He drives and directs the big 
lumbering beasts by words or by a touch of 
the rod. To make them go "straight on," he 
calls out, Gio gio kalen ; " Turn to the right " is 
Ghir ngivo ; " To the left," Ghir nengen ; " Stop " 
is His his ; and whenever they (or horses) incur 
the displeasure of their drivers, they are in- 
variably brought to a better mind by hearing 
an unpronounceable exclamation something like 
Uk tik. 

Another natural industry in which the Javanese 
are particularly skilful is the making of mats. 
There are many varieties. A light sort of floor- 
covering is made from the leaves of the wild 
pine-apple (pandan) ; a stronger kind is the tika 
Bogor, or Buitenzorg matting, which is made from 
the bark of a species of palm, and which is used 
to cover walls and ceilings. Beside these, matting 
is made from rushes and from the cane imported 
from Palembang, in Sumatra ; while for the walls 








of the houses a heavy matting of bamboo strips 
is used. The weaving of sarongs is practised by 
the women all over Java, and the cooking and 
household utensils, made both in copper ana 
earthenware, indicate by their forms a consider- 
able taste. The Javanese carpenters are also 
very clever, and both they and the Malays are 
skilful in imitating any European designs which 
are handed to them. In spite, however, of this 
natural aptitude for higher industries, the great 
mass of the native population are compelled by 
the present commercial system to remain mere 
peasants. Even so the cheapness and simplicity 
of the means of life prevent them from being a 
joyless race. A plantation cooly generally has 
two days in the week on which he does no work. 
The public feasts are numerous, the chief being 
the Taori Baru, or New Year, which falls at the 
end of the fasting month, which varies from year 
to year. In 1890 it lasted from April 21 to May 
21. During- this month the chiefs and the better 
class abstain from eating or smoking from sunrise 
to sunset. Everv village has its market once a 


week or thereabouts, and after this there is 
generally a wayang, or puppet show, and some 
mild amusement. The wayang is the most im- 
portant of the native amusements ; for the theatre 
is a rare luxury, and confined chiefly to the towns 
or to the courts of the native princes. It is a 
very simple business — far beneath a punch-and- 
judy show in point of art, but the audience watch 
the puerile display for five or six hours without 
intermission. The theatre consists of pantomimic 
representations, with which is mingled a ballet, 
the basis of which is ancient tradition. The 
following story (which I have condensed from 
D'Almeida's book) is a specimen. A certain 
King Praboe Sindolo of Mendang Kamolan, 
feeling tired of the vanities of the world, retired 
to a hut, where he lived in prayer and fasting. 
While thus living he was visited by a tempter, 
who sought to rekindle his desire for the good 
things of this life. Thereupon Praboe sent for 
a large bird and four vestal virgins to defend him 
against the evil spirit. By a miracle he trans- 
formed himself into a flower, around which the 


vestal virgins danced. By chance, however, a 
princess passed that way, and, seeing a vase with 
beautiful flowers therein, she chose and gathered 
one, which she carried to her home. This she 
placed in water, when, to her surprise, it suddenly 
was transformed into a young and graceful man. 
Even as she had cared for him did Praboe care 
for her, and forthwith he became her lover, and 
cared nothing any longer for the fasting and the 

Much of the Javan festivity is connected with 
the marriage ceremony, which is always an occa- 
sion of feasting, greater or less, in proportion to 
the wealth of the bride and bridegroom. There 
is a procession and music, but the actual cere- 
mony is very simple, although the accessory 
festivities appear to be capable of almost in- 
definite extension. Barrington D'Almeida, who 
visited the island in 1861, thus describes the 
scene * which he witnessed in a house filled with 
guests : — 

" On either side of the front room, on white 

* " Life in Java." 


Samarang mats, were seated the elders of the 
village, priests, various friends, relations, and 
acquaintances, all squatted cross-legged. Cups of 
tea, a la Chinoise — that is, without milk or sugar — 
were placed on handsome trays before each guest, 
as well as betel nuts, cakes, a quantity of rokos, 
and other native delicacies. . . . Followed by 
several of the guests, we entered another room, 
which was very gaudily decorated, and furnished 
with a low bed, the curtains of which were of 
white calico, ornamented with lace, gold, silver, 
beads, and coloured bits of silk. At the foot of 
this bed was a platform, raised about half a foot 
from the ground, on which was spread a spotless 
white mat, with several bronze trays containing 
cakes, etc. Whilst we were inspecting this apart- 
ment we were startled by the din of voices, 
followed by the sound of music, which, from its 
peculiar character, was too near to be agreeable. 
' The bride is come,' said Drahman. The crowd 
was so great that it was some minutes before we 
could catch a glimpse of her. Our curiosity was 
at length gratified, while they were pouring water 


upon her small naked feet. After this ceremony 
an elderly man, who, I was informed, was one 
of her relatives, carried her in his arms to the 
inner room, and placed her on the platform, 
where she sat down on the left side of the bride- 
groom, who had followed her in. She had a 
rather pleasing expression, but was much dis- 
figured by a yellow dye, with which her face, 
neck, shoulders, and arms were covered, and 
which effectually concealed her blushes. 

" Her dress was very simple, consisting of a 
long sarong of fine batek, passing under both 
arms and across the chest, so that, though her 
shoulders were quite naked, her bosom was 
modestly covered. This garment reached nearly 
down to the young bride's ankles, and was con- 
fined round the waist by a silver ' pinding.' Her 
hair was arranged in the usual Javanese style, 
with the addition that on the knob at the back 
of the head rested a kind of crown made of beads 
and flowers. 

" On the left side of the girl sat an old, haggard- 
looking woman, the waksie, or bridesmaid, on 


whose shoulders, according to the wedding eti- 
quette of the Javanese, rests no small share of 
the responsibility. . * . . She is expected to adorn 
the bride in the most attractive manner, so as 
to please her husband and the assembled guests ; 
and she superintends all the ceremonies during 
the celebration of the wedding. . . . The bride- 
groom, like his bride, was yellow-washed down 
to the waist ; his eyebrows were blackened and 
painted to a point ; he wore a variegated batek 
sarong, fastened round the waist with a bright 
silk scarf, through the folds of which glittered the 
gilt hilt of a kriss. His hair fell on his back in 
long thick masses, whilst a conical-shaped hat, 
made of some material resembling patent leather, 
was placed on the top of his head. On one side 
of him was seated his waksie, or best man, a boy 
dressed very much like himself. I was told that 
the parents of the young couple were absent, as, 
according to the usual custom in this country, 
their presence is not expected at the wedding 

It is interesting to know that the ceremony by 


which the marriage tie is dissolved is as simple 
as the marriage ceremony is elaborate. All that 
is necessary is the consent of the parties ; no 
discredit is involved nor any suffering incurred, 
and the Arab priest performs the divorce service 
for a sum so trifling as half a florin ! Probably 
the cheapness of food, and the ease with which 
life can be supported generally in such a country 
and climate, is the cause of this laxity of the 
marriage tie. As a Mohammedan, a Javan 
peasant is permitted to have as many as four 
wives, but he can rarely afford more than one, 
or two at the most. 





Tanjong Priok — Sadoes — Batavia — Business quarter — Tele- 
phoning — Chinese Campong — Weltevreden — Waterloo 
Plain — Peter Elberfeld's house — Raffles and Singapore. 

When the prosperity of the Dutch East India 
Company was at its height, the city of Batavia* 
was justly entitled the " Queen of the East." 
Apart from the fact that this place was the centre 
and head-quarters of the company, it was the 
emporium through which the whole commerce 

* " Not many years later (i.e. than 1602, the date of Wolfert's 
victory over the Portuguese Admiral Mendoza), at the distance 
of a dozen leagues from Bantam, a congenial swamp was 
fortunately discovered in a land whose volcanic peaks rose two 
miles in the air, and here a town duly laid out with canals and 
bridges, and trim gardens and stagnant pools, was baptized by 
the ancient and well-beloved name of Good Meadow, or Batavia, 
which it bears to this day " (Motley, " United Netherlands "). 

BAT AVI A. 63 

of the East passed to and from Europe. The 
Dutch possessions of Ceylon, the Cape of Good 
Hope, and the Moluccas depended for their 
supplies on Java. Not only were the European 
imports, iron, broadcloth, glass-ware, velvets, 
wines, gold lace, furniture, and saddlery destined 
for these settlements received here in the first 
instance, but similar imports intended for China, 
Cochin, Japan, and the Malay islands were also 
reshipped from this port into the native boats 
which conveyed them to those several countries. 
Similarly, the wealth of China and the East was 
first collected upon the wharfs of Batavia before 
it was finally despatched to the various ports of 
Europe and America. 

Since the foundation of the town, the sea- 
shore has silted up to such an extent that the 
original harbour of Batavia, in which the 
Dutch East Indiamen of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries lay at anchor, has been 
abandoned, and a new port has been con- 
structed at a point six miles to the eastward. 
The harbour works at Tanjong Priok, as the 


present port of Batavia is called, and the railway 
which connects the port and town of Batavia, are 
one among many improvements set on foot in 
the island since the inauguration of a public-works 
policy by the Colonial Government in 1875. 
Ocean steamships of 4000 and 5000 tons burden 
can now be berthed at these wharfs, and there 
is a constant and convenient service of trains 
between the port and the town. Even to-day 
the presence of superannuated Dutch warships 
and quaint craft from China and the Malay 
islands relieves the monotony of the vast hulls 
of the steamships of the British India, the 
Messageries Maritimes, and the Netherlands 
India Companies. 

I was agreeably surprised at the size and con- 
venience of the station at Tanjong Priok. The 
booking clerk, who was, I think, a Chinaman, 
seemed to know the ways of strangers, and I and 
my fellow-passengers had no difficulty in taking 
tickets for Batavia. The line passed through 
groves of cocoa-nut palms, intersected with 
canals. Everything was quaint and interesting, 

BA TA VIA. 6 =5 

the canal boats, the buffalo ploughs, the gaily- 
feathered birds, — all revealed a new and delight- 
ful phase of life and nature. We were immensely 
struck with the appearance of a native cutting 
crass. He had a hooked blade of steel fastened 
to a long handle, forming an instrument not unlike 
a cleek or other golf-stick. This he slowly 
swung round his head, and each time it touched 
the ground cleared about three inches of orass. 
The thing looked too absurd. We all wanted 
to get out and ask him how long he expected to 
be mowing that strip of grass by the canal-side. 

While I was on board ship I had been fortunate 
enough to borrow a Malay phrase-book from a 
man who had visited the Archipelago before, 
and during the voyage to Batavia I had amused 
myself with copying out some of the phrases and 
committing them to memory. On landing I 
found these few phrases extremely useful, and 
I mention the fact by way of encouragement, 
and in case any other traveller should be inclined 
similarly to beguile the tedium of the voyage. 
He will have his reward. 


When Mr. Wallace visited Java in 1861, he 
tells us he found no conveyances in Batavia except 
"handsome two-horse carriages," costing some- 
thing under a sovereign a day. He justly com- 
plains of the expensiveness of these vehicles, and 
also of the cost of the post-carriages which then 
formed the sole means of locomotion in the 
interior of the island. To-day things are greatly 
improved. To say nothing of the railway system 
which connects the large towns in the east and 
west, Batavia is provided with an excellent tram- 
way, and with a capital supply of small vehicles 
called sadoes. 

The sadoe is the hansom of Java. It is a 
small two-wheeled carriage, in which the seats 
are placed back to back (hence the name, which 
is a corruption of dos-a-dos), and which is fur- 
nished with a square top to keep off the sun. 
It is drawn by one (or two) of the sturdy little 
horses bred in the island. At a pinch these 
vehicles will hold four, but two is enough. 
Ordinarily the driver sits in front, and the " fare " 
in the more luxurious seat behind. Thus 


v ' ' '\ r '■"• ^~ 3§ 



- - ' i 






r- r 

' " ~ Jfe 



BAT AVI A. 67 

weighted the country-breds go at a very smart 
pace ; nor is there any complaint to be made in 
respect of the drivers. They are generally very 
civil, and their charges are very moderate. 

I was told a story which illustrates the docility 
of the sadoe drivers,- and the cleverness with 
which they can trace and identify their "fares." 

An English officer from Singapore, whom we 
will call Brown, was visiting Batavia, and had 
occasion, in the course of his visit, to drive in a 
sadoe from the old town to a friend's house in 
Weltevreden. For some reason or other he 
became annoyed with the driver, and, having 
ejected him, proceeded to drive himself. As it 
was night, he soon became entangled in the maze 
of streets. At last he reached the large open 
space called the King's Plain. He was now 
close to his destination. The only difficulty was 
to get rid of the sadoe. In order to do this he 
drove into the middle of the plain. He waited 
until the horse began to graze quietly, and then 
"made tracks" as quickly as might be for his 
friend's compound. Ultimately he returned to 


his hotel. The first thing Brown saw, when he 
got up the next morning, was sadoe, driver, and 
horse waiting outside his verandah in the court- 
yard. He grew pale with thoughts of the police ; 
but no, the driver only wanted his fare, which 
was two florins. Having received this, he retired 
smiling- and contented. 

There was a crowd of these sadoes wait- 
ing outside the station at Batavia, in one 
of which I made my way to the Hotel der 

Batavia may be divided (like all Gaul) into 
three parts. First, there is the business quarter, 
the oldest, where the houses are tall and built 
in the style still prevalent in the warm countries 
of Europe, with balconies and verandahs and 
widely projecting eaves, and where the streets 
are narrow. Then there is the Chinese Cam- 
pong, which, with the adjacent streets, occupies 
the central portion of the town, containing the 
bulk of the population closely packed in their 
curious dwellings. And, lastly, there is Wel- 
tevreden, the Dutch town, where the officials, 

BA TA VIA. 69 

the military, and the merchants reside. The 
town is traversed from end to end by the railway, 
which passes through from Tanjong Priok to 
Buitenzorg and Bandong ; and by the tramway, 
which runs from the town gate in the north to 
the statue of Meester Cornelis in the south. 
It is also divided by the stream called the Kali 
Bezar, or Great River, and intersected by 
numerous canals. The pavements are of red 
brick, and the roads covered with a reddish dust ; 
indeed, the prevailing tone of the whole place is 
a warm red-brown, varied by salmon-pink and 
green masonry, and generously interspersed with 
bright yellow, deep crimson, and olive-green 
foliage, though not unfrequently a spreading 
waringin tree or a group of feathery palms 
overtops the general mass. Additional colour 
is given by the natives, who are clothed in light 
cottons and silken stuffs of delicate tones and 
graceful shapes, carried with an easy carelessness 
and unfailing novelty of combination. Some- 
times they are gathered into dark brown masses 
round the base of some one of the many bridges 


which span the river or canals, prepared for the 
luxury of the tropics — an afternoon bathe. 

All three quarters are possessed of a separate 
beauty. The elaborately carved pediments and 
ponderous doors, the heavy balconies and eaves 
of the houses, give an old-world quaintness to 
the first, which is enhanced by the crowd of many- 
shaped and variously coloured boats that line 
the quays that front the offices on either side 
of the Great River. Nothing could be more 
delightful than the setting of the red-tiled roofs, 
with their dragon-decorated ridges and parapets, 
on the wooden trellis fronts and canvas blinds 
of the Chinese houses. Weltevreden, too, is not 
without attractions. The broad porticoes of dazz- 
ling white, with their Ionic columns and marble 
floors, are often set in a fair surrounding of green 
trees. The compounds and gardens are always 
verdant, and sometimes radiant with bright- 
leaved shrubs and flowers. Especially the 
broad green-covered squares and the wide roads 
arched with noble trees speak of coolness and 
repose in a hot and weary land. On the out- 















skirts of the town, along the country roads, where 
the cocoa palm and banana plantations begin, 
are the bamboo cottages of the Sundanese 

But it is after nightfall that this place becomes 
a veritable fairyland. The open porticoes of the 
Dutch houses are seen to be thronged with gaily 
dressed people, the ladies often still wearing the 
sarong, and looking like /Eneas' mother — 
" Proved to be a goddess by her stately tread," 

and in harmony with the pillars and pediments 
about them. Everywhere lights gleam through 
foliage, and ever and again, through an air instinct 
with electric movement and heavy with perfumes, 
strains of music reach the ear from the open door- 
ways, or are wafted in the distance from one of 
the numerous military bands, which are ever 
" discoursing sweet music " to the society of the 
capital. In the centre of the town the native 
streets look, to the European eye, like a perpetual 
festival. Outside the doors are gathered in 
groups the various inhabitants — Chinese, Malay, 
or Sundanese, some clanging cymbals and other 


strange instruments of music, others seated round 
fires, eating baked cakes or fruits and other frugal 
dainties. Meanwhile the streets are alive with 
the rush of numerous cahars * and sadoes, drawn 
by the agile native pony, and with itinerant ven- 
dors, who, bearing their baskets suspended from 
their shoulders by the pikulan, or cross-piece, 
each with a lamp fixed to the rearmost basket, 
flit to and fro noiselessly on their bare feet. 

The business quarter, like the " city " in London, 
is thronged with merchants and carriages, carts 
and coolies, and all the machinery of commerce, 
in the daytime, and entirely deserted at night. 
The merchants keep their offices open from nine 
till five, and, in spite of the great heat, work all 
through the day, with the exception of an hour or so 
for " tiffin." By this arrangement the early morn- 
ing and late afternoon, the only time when open- 
air exercise is possible, is left available for riding 
or walking. In spite of the romantic exterior of 
the place, Batavia is not ill-supplied with modern 

* Native carriage much like the sadoe, but never used by 

B ATA VI A. 73 

improvements. The tramway system, in which 
smoke and heat are avoided by the use of a central 
boiler from which steam is taken for the different 
locomotives, is especially well suited to the require- 
ments of the climate. The telephone, again, is in 
constant use both in offices and private houses, 
although the confusion of languages — Malay, 
Dutch, and English — makes it a little difficult 
sometimes to work it. I remember once asking 
the landlord of the Hotel der Nederlanden 
to telephone to a man in the town that I was 
intending to go to Buitenzorg on the following 
morning, and the terrible difficulty I had to get 
him to convey my name to the clerk at the other 
end. After ringing up the central office (which is 
worked by Malays) and getting the connection he 
wanted, he said — 

" Mr. X ? " 

" No." 

" Mr. X is not there " (to me). 

" All right," I said ; " tell the clerk to tell 
Mr. X " 

But the telephone was now shut off, and the 


process of connecting had to be gone through 


" Tell Mr. X What is your name ? " 

" Worsfold," I said. 

" Versfolt ? " 

" Yes." 

"Tell Mr. X that Mynheer Versfolt " 

" Who ? " (from the other end). 

" Mynheer Versfolt." 

" Who ? " 

" Versfolt." 

" Who ? " 

" How you spell it ? " (to me). 

I spelt it. 

" Mynheer V-e-a-s-f-o-l-t. Veasfolt, Veasfolt, 

Here he appealed to a Dutch gentleman who 
could speak English, and wrote down the name, 

" Tell Mr. X that Mynheer Listen, 

I will spell it — W-o-r," etc. 

" Oh, never mind ; tell him that the English- 
man is Qfoinof to Buitenzonj to-morrow." 

B ATA VIA. 75 

" The English gentleman is going to Buiten- 
zorg to-morrow." 

" What Englishman ? " 

" Mynheer Veasfolt." 

" Who ? " 

" Mynheer Veasfold. I will spell it — W-o-r," etc. 

" Yes ; what about him ? " 

" Tell Mr. X that Mynheer Veasfolt ' 

" Who ? " 

" Oh, never mind," I said ; " Mr. X will 


But the polite landlord was not satisfied. " It 
is no trouble ; I will tell him." 

Then I went away in haste, as the process had 
already occupied half an hour, and I was tele- 
phoning to avoid delay. Five minutes later I 
passed the bureau. The landlord was still at that 
wretched instrument. I hurried by without daring 
to look up, fearing that I should be appealed to 
again. I dared not even ask whether the message 
ever reached the office or not. 

Beside the town gate — a massive stone arch, 
with two large iron images on either side, rem- 



nants of early victories over the kings of Bantam 
— there are two buildings of interest in this 
(business) quarter of the town, the stadthaus, or 
town hall, and the town church. The former 
is just such an old Dutch edifice as might be 
seen in any of the towns of Holland, standing in 
a tree-planted space. In it are the offices of 
the Resident and the police authorities. The 
landraad, or county court, also holds its sittings 
here ; and on the stone terrace in front of the 
building, the town guard (a native force armed 
with lances or picks, and therefore called "picki- 
niers ") are generally to be seen drilling. The 
town church is across the river, on the road to 
Tanjong Priok. It is given up to a half-caste 
conorrecration, | Dut j ts wa U s are lined with 

memorial tablets of former governors, and there 
are some interesting monuments outside. Ac- 
cording to a wooden tablet within, it was built 
between the years 1693 and 1695 by Pieter Van 
Hoorn. It contains some handsome silver can- 
delabra and a richly gilt pulpit, and in the vestry 
there are some handsome old chairs. 


The native quarter is remarkable for the pictu- 
resque medley of its people and their houses. 
There are also in the Chinese Campong many 
fine private houses, which are furnished with 
courtyards, and elaborately finished. In the 
decorations of the roof the favourite form of the 
Chinese dragon is constantly repeated, and ex- 
traordinary effects are produced by a sort of 
mosaic work, with which the spaces over the 
doorways and windows are filled, and which has 
a shiny surface almost like majolica ware. 

Weltevreden has many handsome buildings, 
and some which are interesting. Most of them 
are grouped round the two great squares or 
parks, the King's Plain and the Waterloo Plain. 
The former is lined by four magnificent avenues 
of tamarind trees (Poinciana regia), which form a 
graceful arch of small-leaved foliage, broken here 
and there by a still wider-spreading waringin 
tree. On the west side stands the museum, 
which contains a very perfect collection of the 
antiquities and industries of the island. There is 
also a library, and new buildings are in course of 


erection. It is governed by a directory, which 
consists in full of eleven members, who have 
power to fill up any vacancies which may occur. 
There is a president, a vice-president, a secretary, 
and a librarian. This latter gentleman is gene- 
rally to be found at the museum, and a little con- 
versation with him, and a few hours spent in 
the ethnological and antiquarian sections, form the 
very best commencement of a tour through the 
island. Directly opposite the museum is the Wel- 
tevreden station and the great black dome of the 
Dutch church. This latter is noticeable as being 
the place where the few people who do go to 
church in Batavia attend, and where marriages 
are solemnized after the preliminary ceremony at 
the registrar's. 

The Waterloo Plain is not nearly so large 
as the King's Plain. On two sides it is lined 
by officers' bungalows ; and the east side is oc- 
cupied by a large pile of Government offices, 
called the Palace, and by the military club, the 
Concordia. In front of these buildings there are 
some prettily laid out gardens, in the centre of 









B ATA VIA. 79 

which is a statue of Jan Pietersen Van Koen, the 
first Dutch Governor of Batavia. In the centre 
of the plain is the monumental pillar from which 
it takes its name. It consists of a round column 
with a square base, some forty feet in height, 
surmounted by a Belgian lion. On the base the 
following inscription is to be read in plain Roman 
characters and excellent Latin : — 

" In seternam, celeberrimae diei duodecimal ante 
Kalendas Julii mdcccxv, memoriam, quo, forti- 
tudine et strenuitate Belgarum eorumque inclyti 
ducis Wilhelmi, Frederici, Georgi Ludovici, prin- 
cipis arausiaci, post atrocissimum in campis 
Waterlooae prcelium stratis et undique fugatis 
Gallorum legionibus Pax orbis reluxit. . . ." 
[William Frederick Charles, Vice- king of India, 
erected this monument in the year 1827.] "To 
the perpetual memory of that most famous 
day, June 20, 18 15, on which, by the resolution 
and activity of the Belgians and their famous 
General, William Frederich George Ludovic, 
Prince of Luxemburg, after a terrible conflict on 
the plains of Waterloo, when the battalions of 


the French had been routed and scattered on 
every side, the peace of the world dawned once 

Most people will admit that the facts of the 
famous victory are scarcely detailed with suffi- 
cient accuracy by the inscription. And, indeed, 
the American gentleman who accompanied me 
on my visit remarked that " he guessed the lion 
at the top was on the whole inferior in size to the 
lyiri at the bottom of the pillar." 

Just outside this plain, and opposite one of the 
small bridges which leads into the native street 
termed Pazer Baroe, is the theatre, which is 
the most picturesque of the modern buildings of 

In the main road which leads through that 
part of the town which covers the site of the 
original Sundanese capital, Jakatra (meaning 
"the work of victory"), there is a desolate-look- 
ine house which the visitor will do well to 
include in his archaeological investigations. Over 
the walled-up entrance of this house the remains 
of a skull spiked on a pike are still to be seen. 


Underneath is a tablet with the following 
inscription : — 

" In consequence of the detested memory of Peter 
Elberfeld, who was punished for treason, no one 
shall be permitted to build in wood or stone, or to 
plant anything whatsoever, in these grounds from 
this time forth for evermore. Batavia, April 22, 

This Peter Elberfeld was one of the many 
natives who conspired from time to time against 
the Dutch. According to Raffles, the Dutch 
administration of Java was distinguished from 
the very first by a " haughty assumption of supe- 
riority, for the purpose of overawing the credulous 
simplicity of the natives, and a most extraordinary 
timidity, which led them to suspect treachery and 
danger in quarters where they were least to be 
apprehended." But large allowances must be 
made for the precarious position of a handful 
of Europeans living in the midst of a hostile and 

* I have taken this inscription as I found it translated in 
D' Almeida's " Life in Java," from which I have also abridged 
the story. 


numerous population. In the case of the con- 
spiracy in question, the historical outlines of the 
story are tinctured by an element of romance. 

Peter Elberfeld was a half-caste who had 
acquired considerable wealth, but who was pos- 
sessed by an intense hatred of the Dutch. Uniting 
the native princes in a league, he formed a con- 
spiracy to extirpate the entire white population 
of the island by concerted massacres. When his 
plans were fully formed and ready for execution, 
an unexpected circumstance revealed the plot 
and brought destruction upon the chiefs of the 
conspiracy. Elberfeld had a niece living with 
him, who, so far from sharing her uncle's hatred 
of the Dutch race, had secretly fallen in love 
with a young Dutch officer. Knowing her uncle's 
aversion to their foreign masters and jealousy 
of their power, she did not dare to ask for his 
consent to the marriage. At last she arranged 
to elope with her lover. On the night previous 
to that fixed upon for this event she was unable 
to sleep, from a feeling of remorse at conduct 
which seemed ungrateful to one who had at least 


been indulgent and affectionate to her. As she 
stood upon the verandah, looking out upon the 
darkness of the night, she became conscious 
that some persons, unseen in the darkness, were 
moving around her. She made her way in alarm 
to her uncle's chamber, but found it empty. She 
then went to the dining-room. The door of this 
room was shut, but, bending down, she perceived 
that the room itself was filled with people, and 
listened to their whispered consultations. Over- 
whelmed with horror at the cruel nature of the 
conspiracy, and at the terrible ceremonies by 
which they bound themselves at the same time 
to mutual loyalty and vengeance on their enemies, 
she yet hesitated to betray her uncle. Finally 
love for her betrothed prevailed, and she com- 
municated the particulars of the conspiracy to 
him. He at once informed the Dutch authorities. 
On the following night — the night fixed for the 
elopement — Elberfeld's house was surrounded, 
and the conspirators were captured as they were 
on the point of departing to their various stations. 
Most of the native princes were punished by 


mutilation, but Elberfeld was reserved for a 
signal vengeance. Each of his arms and legs 
were tied respectively to one of four horses, 
which were then driven by lashes of whips in 
four different directions. Finally his head was 
severed from the trunk of his body and impaled. 
To this day it remains a ghastly memorial of 
the turbulent past. The most unsatisfactory part 
of the story is the fact that the girl who had 
made such sacrifices in her lover's behalf was 
after all not permitted to be his bride. 

The population of Batavia is, in round numbers, 
110,000. Of these 7000 are Europeans. In 
respect of total population it is inferior to Soe- 
rabaia, the eastern capital, which has 140,000 in- 
habitants. There are, however, fewer Europeans 
at Soerabaia than at Batavia. Samarang, which 
ranks third in size, has a population of 70,000. 

Sir Stamford Raffles, who was Governor of 
Java during the short period of English occu- 
pation, was so impressed with the commercial 
importance of Batavia, that he persuaded the 
British Government, upon the cession of the island, 


to found a rival port on the opposite side of the 
Straits of Malacca. Singapore, the town due to 
this act of political foresight, is built upon a small 
island at the extremity of the Malay peninsula. 
Although it is almost exactly on the equator, it 
enjoys a more temperate climate than its older 
rival. It also possesses vastly superior accom- 
modation for shipping. While Batavia, owing 
to the silting of the river already mentioned, is 
now some miles from the sea, Singapore possesses 
two commodious harbours, and has far outstripped 
the older town in commercial importance. There 
is a monument marking the spot where Lady 
Raffles was buried in the green glades of the 
gardens at Buitenzorg ; but the statue of Sir 
Stamford Raffles looks forth to the sea from the 
centre of the broad grass- clad esplanade of 




The temple remains generally — The connection between Buddha 
and Brahma — The Boro-Boedoer — Loro-Jonggrang. 

Of the temple ruins of Java, considered gene- 
rally, Mr. Wallace says, "It will take most persons 
by surprise to learn that they far surpass those 
of Central America, perhaps even those of India."'" 
Yet it is only recently that these great works 

have been recovered to the world. A Dutch 
engineer who was sent to construct a fort at 

Klaten, in 1797, found that a number of archi- 
tectural remains existed in the neighbourhood 
of Brambanan, of which no account had been 
given. The natives, it appeared, regarded them 
as the work of some local deity, and, indeed, 
were in the habit of worshipping one conspicuous 

* " Malay Archipelago." 


statue. He also found much difficulty in suf- 
ficiently clearing the ruins of the overgrowth 
of vegetation, so as to get an adequate view. 
Eventually he succeeded in making some rough 
sketches of them. In the year following the 
English occupation (18 12), Colonel Colin Mac- 
Kenzie visited Brambanan, and made an accurate 
survey of the ruins in that neighbourhood, which 
he sketched and described. At the instance 
of the Governor, Sir Stamford Raffles, Captain 
Butler was then sent to make drawings of the 
buildings, and to report upon them. This was 
the first methodical exploration of the Hindu 
ruins in Java ; but it was only partial, and related 
almost exclusively to the Brambanan neighbour- 
hood. A quarter of a century later, when the 
discovery of photography had made an exact 
reproduction of the sculptures possible, the 
Dutch Government instituted an exhaustive sur- 
vey of the Boro-Boedoer temple. In July, 1845, 
M. Shaefer was commissioned to execute photo- 
graphs of the bas-reliefs, but he was only partially 
successful. Two years later, an engineer, M. 


F. C. Wilsen, was sent out from Holland, and, 
after giving satisfactory proofs of his skill, 
definitely appointed in 1849, by a decree of 
the Council of Netherlands India, to make 
drawings of the bas-reliefs and statues of this 
temple. He was assisted by M. Schonburg 
Mulder. They commenced in April, 1849, and 
completed the whole of the task they had under- 
taken in the year 1853. M. Mulder's drawings 
proved, however, to be useless, and a new 
assistant, M. Mieling, was appointed. After 
various troubles, the drawings were finally com- 
pleted in 1 87 1, and the letterpress and plates 
published in 1874. This great literary work, con- 
sisting of several hundreds of large lithographed 
plans and drawings of sculptures and statues, 
with a complete account written by Dr. C. 
Leemans, director of the Public Museum at 
Leiden, was produced under the direction of 
the Dutch Minister of the Colonies. But even 
this splendid account of the Boro-Boedoer temple 
is not complete ; since the date of its publication 
a new series of bas-reliefs have been discovered, 


and are being gradually photographed. In 
connection with the temples of Brambanan and 
Kalasan, also, new and interesting discoveries 
are being made from year to year. Indeed, 
images and sculptured stones are continually 
found all over the island. At Gunong Praii, 
forty miles south-west of Samarang, and further 
east, at Kediri and in Malang, there are large 
tracts of ruins ; but the most imposing and in- 
teresting for the traveller are to be found in 
the centre of the island, in the neighbourhood 
of Magalang and Djokja, in positions indicated 
by the accompanying map. I shall endeavour 
first to give the reader a general idea of the 
extent and nature of these remains, and then, 
after a few remarks on the connection between 
Buddha and Brahma, to describe more at length 
the Boro-Boedoer temple, and that of Loro- 
Jonggrang, near Brambanan, the former of 
which is Buddhistic, and the latter Brahmanic, 
or Saivite. 

At Boro-Boedoer, ten miles from Magalang, 
there are the remains of the vast temple of 


that name ; and about a mile distant, on the 
nearer bank of the Prago river, is the small 
and externally insignificant temple of Mendoet. 
Inside this latter is a vaulted chamber, the roof 
of which springs from walls twenty feet in height, 
and rises to sixty feet in the centre, covering 
a fine statue of Buddha. 

At Brambanan, a village near Djokja, there 
is a large mass of ruins, of which the most im- 
portant are the temple of Loro-Jonggrang 
and a group of small temples called Tjandi 
Sewoe, or Thousand Temples. In the neigh- 
bourhood of the former ruins there are six 
large and fourteen small temples, twenty 
separate buildings in all. The ruins of the 
latter group cover a space of six hundred, 
square feet, and contain many splendid colossal 
figures. They are arranged in five regular 
parallelograms, consisting of an outer row of 
eighty-four temples, a second of seventy-six, a 
third of sixty-four, a fourth of forty-four, and 
a fifth (forming an inner-parallelogram) of twenty- 
eight. The centre is occupied by a large cruci- 


form temple, ornamented with sculpture, and 
surrounded by flights of steps. All of these 
remains are greatly marred by the luxurious 
growths of tropical vegetation which cover them. 

Half a mile further are the Tjandi Kali Bening, 
or Temples of Kalasan. Here there is a very 
fine and well-preserved temple, seventy-two 
square feet in extent, of which Mr. Wallace says 
that it is "covered with sculptures of Hindu 
mythology that surpass any that exist in India." 
There are also other ruins of palaces, halls, and 
temples in the neighbourhood.* 

The stones used for the construction of the 
Boro-Boedoer and other temples in Java, and 
for the images found throughout the island, are 
of volcanic origin. They are supplied by the 
numerous volcanoes in the island, and carried 
down the sides of the mountains to the plains 
below in lava streams. To-day such stones are 
used largely for making roads. There is, how- 

* For this general account of the ruins in the neighbourhood 
of Djokja I am indebted to the accounts of Raffles and 


ever, a little limestone found in the southern 
districts of the island. 

In the Boro-Boedoer, at Mendoet, and in the 
Tjandi Sewoe, Buddha was worshipped ; but in 
the Temple of Loro-Jonggrang at Brambanan, 
and in the Temples of Kalasan, Siva (the third 
person of the Hindu Trinity — Brahma, Vishnu, 
Siva) was the central object of adoration. As the 
connection between the religion of Buddha and 
Brahma has been often misunderstood, a few words 
on this point may be of service to the reader. 

Brahmanism, which was the established wor- 
ship of the Hindus when Buddha taught, was a 
religion which admitted of many sects; and 
Buddha, although his ethical system was in- 
dependent of Brahmanic theology, recognized 
the existence of the popular deities. The dis- 
tinction, then, between Brahmanism and Bud- 
dhism is purely arbitrary ; the latter is merely 
a new growth of the former, and they both exist 
in British India at the present day. In China 
also there is a similar fusion of religious beliefs, 
where there are three established cults — those 


of Brahma, Confucius, and of the Taoists, or 
nature-worshippers. The Confucian religion is 
rather a system of ethics than a cult ; but the 
rites of the Buddhist and Taoist temples are 
attended indiscriminately by the majority of the 
Chinese, the priests of the separate temples alone 
confining themselves to the worship of a par- 
ticular deity. In India, however, the special 
followers of the two systems do not exhibit an 
equal liberalism of sentiment ; while the worship 
of Brahma is considered orthodox, the cult of 
Buddha is regarded as heretical. The Buddhistic 
temples of Java, coming midway between the 
oldest Buddhistic temples of India and the 
modern shrines in Burmah, Ceylon, and Nepaul, 
the present seats of the cult, supply an interest- 
ing lacuna in the antiquities of Buddhism. The 
Javan form of this religion is especially allied to 
that of Nepaul. It bears a general resemblance 
to the Buddhism of Northern India, but is distinct 
from that of Ceylon and the south. It is not 
surprising, therefore, that ruins of temples dedi- 
cated to the services of both religions should 


exist side by side, nor that the grosser and more 
popular Brahmanic forms should have developed 
more largely than the more spiritual worship of 
Buddha, both in India to-day and in Java 
previously to the Mohammedan conquest. 

The temple of Boro-Boedoer is built upon a 
slight rounded eminence, the last of a chain of 
hills on the eastern bank of the river Pra^o. 
The entire edifice rests upon an equilateral base of 
six hundred and twenty feet, situated due N.S.E. 
and W., and rises gradually in terraces adapted 
in desien to the form of the hill. These consist 
of two lower terraces which are square in form ; 
four galleries (or passages, with sculptures on either 
side), which are still rectangular in form, but 
have twenty angles to admit of their following 
the rounded contour of the hill ; and four terraces, 
of which the first has twelve angles, while the 
remaining three are circular, adorned with cupolas, 
each containing a statue of Buddha ; and finally 
the whole is surmounted by a huge cupola, fifty 
feet in diameter, in which rests the central figure 
of Buddha. Access from one terrace to another 


is gained by four flights of steps, running up the 
centre of each front, at the several entrances of 
which are placed two huge lion-monsters. Dr. 
Leemans, in his account of the building, enume- 
rates five galleries ; but in reality there are only 
four, since the outside of what he calls the first 
gallery is merely a second basis for the whole 
structure, as is shown by the nature of its decora- 
tion, viz. simple architectural designs and groups 
of deities. The lower terrace, of which Dr. 
Leemans only guessed the existence, is now 
being excavated and photographed section by 
section. Only one section is kept open at any 
given time, because the earth is necessary to 
support the vast mass of stonework which forms 
the entire building, and it was for this reason, 
namely, to prevent the structure from breaking 
up, that this terrace was formerly banked up. 
It is found that this lower terrace is decorated 
with sculptures representing ordinary mundane 
scenes, the world being the basis on which all 
the higher religious phenomena rest. In the 
first gallery (Leemans' second), the bas-reliefs 


represent a continuous selection of scenes from 
the historical life of Buddha ; in the second, there 
are sculptures of the lesser deities recognized in 
the Brahmanic worship, such deities having been 
adopted into the Buddhistic pantheon ; in the 
third the higher deities are represented, where 
the shrine, and not the deity, is worshipped ; in 
the fourth there are groups of Buddhas ; and in 
the central dome there is the incomplete statue 
of the Hiehest Buddha — Adibuddha. This is 
unfinished by design, in order to indicate that the 
highest deity cannot be represented by human 
hands, having no bodily but only a spiritual 

" Om, amitaya! measure not with words 

Th' Immeasurable ; nor sink the string of thought 
Into the Fathomless. Who asks doth err, 
Who answers, errs. Say nought." 

Such is the design of this great religious 
monument, of which even the bare ruins, in their 
melancholy magnificence, inspire the mind of the 
spectator with mingled feelings of wonder and 


The temple of Loro-Jonggrang is one in which, 
as at Kalasan, the object of worship was Siva, and 
not Buddha. This god, as already stated, was 
the third of the three persons of the Hindu 
Trinity ; the first being Brahma, or the Creator, 
and the second Vishnu, the Preserver. Siva, the 
Destroyer, is also the Reproducer, and appears in 
Java to have been worshipped under three forms : 
(1) as Mahadeva, or the Great God; (2) as 
Mahayogi, or the Great Teacher ; and (3) as 
Mahakala, or the Destroyer. Guru (or Goeroe) 
is an alternative name for Siva Mahayogi, and 
his statues in this temple are so called. The 
edifice is greatly inferior in size to that of Boro- 
Boedoer ; it rests upon a rectangular basement 
having twelve angles, and measuring some eighty 
feet across in either direction. Like the former 
temple, its position is almost exactly square with 
the points of the compass. The basement is 
ornamented with ordinary religious ornaments, 
consisting of sacred trees and lions. Above this 
is a gallery, of which the parapet on the inner 
side is decorated with scenes taken from the 



Ramayana (the second of the two great Indian 
epics), while the opposite wall of the temple is 
adorned with forms of deities. In the centre or 
body of the temple are four chambers, one of 
which — the principal — is itself larger, and contains 
a larger image than the others. They are each 
alike approached by flights of steps in the centre 
of the four sides of the edifice. The deities 
represented are — in the northern chamber, 
Durga ; in the western, Ganesa ; and in both 
the southern and eastern, Guru. Now, accord- 
ing to the Brahmanic pantheon, Durga (the 
Goddess) was the mother, and Guru the father, 
of Ganesa, the elephant-headed God of Wisdom. 
The connection between Siva and the Rama epic 
is this. The Ramayana is the history of the 
incarnation of Vishnu as Rama, and contains an 
account of the war waged by Rama with the 
giant Ravana, the demon king of Ceylon. In 
the poem mention is made of the Vedic god 
Indra and his Maruts. Subsequently Siva, the 
world destroyer, was identified with Indra in the 
form of Rudra, the god of tempests ; hence the 


appropriateness of scenes from this story on a 

Saivite temple. It only remains to add that the 

name of the temple, Loro-Jonggrang, is simply 

the native name given to the particular Durga 

(or Goddess of Efficient Virtue) represented in 

the shrine, and means literally the " Maiden with 

beautiful hips." 

Note. — In view of the late appearance of the Adibuddha 
(probably the tenth century), I have thought it desirable to 
state that the theory of the general design of the Boro-Boedoer 
contained in the text is based upon a very interesting conver- 
sation which I had with M. Groeneveldt, who is a member of 
the Council of Netherlands India and Director of the Museum 
at Batavia. Professor Rhys Davids has pointed out an inte- 
resting distinction between the Boro-Boedoer and the Buddhist 
shrines in India, viz. that, whereas the cupolas at Boro-Boedoer 
are hollow, the dagabas of British India are always solid. In 
the Annex will be found a detailed account of the various 
routes and the cost, etc., of travelling from Batavia to the 
temple districts in the centre and east of Java. 



The Routes to the Temples. 

SUPPOSING that the traveller has been landed at 
Batavia, and wishes to visit the ruins in the east of the 
island, he will have the choice of three routes. First, 
he may sail by a Netherlands India boat to Samarang 
(or Soerabaia, if, as often happens from December to 
February, it is impossible to land at the former place 
owing to the surf) ; this occupies about thirty-six hours. 
There is an excellent hotel at Samarang — the Pavilion 
— where the night can be spent, and the following day 
the train will carry him to Amberawa, a distance of 
50 miles by rail (or 30 by road). Here the railway 
stops, and a carriage must be taken to Magalang, the 
next town (with splendid views of the two volcanoes, 
Merbaboe and Merapi), which is some 20 miles further 
on, and where a halt must be made for the night. Ten 
miles' driving will take him to the Boro-Boedoer ; the 
drive is one of extraordinary beauty. After visiting 
the Boro-Boedoer and the neighbouring temple of 
Mendoet, it is usual to return by way of Djokja (25 
miles), which is the centre of numerous ruins. If, 
however, it is intended to travel overland, there are 
two routes available. The first is the regular posting 
route along the northern coast ; the second lies to the 


south, and is perhaps more interesting. If the regular 
route is chosen, the traveller will proceed by rail as far 
as Bandong, a distance of some 90 miles ; and then 
drive to Cheribon (80 miles), a place on the northern 
coast ; and then, following the coast-line, from Cheribon 
to Tegal (40 miles) ; from Tegal to Pekalongan 
(35 miles); and from Pekalongan to Samarang (68 
miles). In all these places there are good hotels, but 
two horses, and in some places four (as in the last 
stage, where the road passes over mountains), would 
be necessary. Such a journey in a carriage would cost 
(apart from hotel expenses) £20, or, if it were done in 
a cart (sadoe) and two horses, half that sum. 

If he pursues the second route, he will not leave the 
railway before Garoet. From Garoet he will proceed 
to Kalipoetjan (100 miles) by carriage ; this occupies 
two days, and Manongyaya (with a hotel) is passed, 
and Bandar, where there is sleeping-accommodation to 
be had. From Kalipoetjan he will make his way to 
Tjilatjap by native canoe, crossing the Kinderzee, a 
large lagoon, in eight or nine hours, and passing some 
villages built on piles. There is also a curious cave and 
some edible swallow-nests to be seen. In travelling by 
this route it is necessary to take a servant to interpret 
with the natives. From Tjilatjap the railway runs to 
Djokja. This town is about 25 miles from the Boro- 
Boedoer temple ; the road is bad, and at times covered 
with dust to the depth of a foot or more, so that three 
horses are necessary. Even then the journey occupies 
four or five hours, although it is quite possible to return 
on the same day. There is an inn at the small village 



near the temple, but it is not sufficiently inviting to 
merit more than a transitory visit ; at the same time, 
there is nothing to prevent the gentlemen of the party 
from staying the night at Boro-Boedoer if they felt 
so inclined. From Djokja, of course, the railway ex- 
tends to Samarang and to Soerabaia. Especially the 
town of Solo (or Soerakarta), which is the junction 
where the line branches north or east, is worthy of a 
visit, as being the best centre for seeing native cere- 
monies. In conclusion I append a table of distances, 
means of conveyance, and cost (this latter being ap- 
proximate only as depending upon individuals). 

Note. — The regular hotel charge all through Java is five or 
six florins a day (= \os.). Twelve florins — jQi. 
First Route. 

Batavia to Samarang 
Samarang to Amberawa 

Amberawa to Magalang 

Magalang to Boro-Boedoer 

Second Route. 
Batavia to Bandong 

Bandong to Cheribon . 
Cheribon to Tegal . 
Tegal to Pekalongan 

Pekalongan to Samarang 

Third Route. 
Batavia to Garoet 
Garoet to Kalipoetjan . 
Kalipoetjan to Tjilatjap 
Tjilatjap to Djokja . 

Weans of 


of miles. 



60 fl 



36 hours. 



1 5 




) 1 

? y 









1 ? 




5 J 



IO , 


l Carriage 








) J 



4 .. 



1 » 



II ,. 









2 day.-. 

Native canoe 




8 or 9 hrs 



( 103 ) 



Batavian heat — To Buitenzorg by rail — Buitenzorg — Kotta 
Batoe — Buffalo — Sawah land — Sketching a Javan 

Once in Java, and a visit to Buitenzorg is a 
matter of course. In the first place, Buitenzorg 
is to the Dutch possessions in the East what 
Simla is to British India; and, in the second, 
it possesses a strong attraction in its famous 
Botanical Gardens. 

After a week of Batavia, the European or 
Australian traveller begins to want a change. 
It is not that there is at any time any extra- 
ordinary thermometrical heat to be encountered. 
It is simply that, not being an orchid, he finds 
it does not suit him to live in the warm damp 
atmosphere of a hothouse. What he suffers 


from most is the want of sleep. Probably he 
has not learnt to take two solid hours of sleep 
in the afternoon. He says to himself, " Pooh ! 
this is nothing to the sun in India." He re- 
members that when he was in Australia the 
thermometer frequently registered 20° higher than 
it does here. It is all nonsense to call this a hot 
country, he thinks. So he hails a sadoe and 
drives off to the Kali Bezar to see the a^ent 
of his steamship company, when he ought to 
have been dressed in the luxurious freedom of 
pyjamas, and sleeping peacefully upon his great 
square bed, with the mosquito curtains securely 

When night comes, the heat is apparently just 
as intense, and he lies awake, saying bad words 
about the mosquitoes which buzz around him, 
until the small hours of the morning. When 
his "boy" wakes him at six o'clock, he feels as 
if he had had no sleep at all. All the same it 
is a little cooler now ; so he gets up to enjoy 
the fresh air outside in the verandah. After 
he has had his coffee and some bananas or a 


slice of pomelo, and taken his bath, he feels 
tolerably alive. This impression is heightened 
by a gallop over the King's Plain ; and by the 
time he has had his breakfast he feels as "fit 
as anything." So he hardens his heart and does 
the same thing again to-day, except that, knowing 
the uselessness of trying to sleep before the 
temperature falls after midnight, he plays billiards 
at the club until he is turned out, and then 
spends the rest of the evening on a friend's 
verandah, seated in a long chair, consuming long 
drinks, and smoking long cigars. 

It is not surprising, therefore, that the average 
globe-trotter finds a week of Batavia about 


enough at a time. He confides his emotions 
to his friend, who is a resident. This latter says, 
" Can't sleep ? You should go to Buitenzorg ; 
you'll sleep all night there." So he leaves his 
heavy luggage behind in the hotel, and packs 
a bag, jumps into a sadoe, and in less than two 
hours he finds himself in one of the healthiest 
climates in the world, and in the midst of 
surroundings as novel as they are delightful. 


The train by which I had arranged to travel 
to Buitenzorg left the Weltevreden station at the 
convenient hour of half-past four in the afternoon. 
It only stopped once, and accomplished the 
distance in the fairly good time of one hour 
and twenty minutes. Here, again, as at Tanjong 
Priok, I was agreeably surprised with the size 
and convenience of the stations. The railway 
employes were Chinese and Javanese. The 
latter were dressed in peaked caps and blue 
serge coats and trousers, but wore rather un- 
necessarily waist-clothes and head-bands on the 
top of their European dress. 

In Java, as elsewhere, the Anglo-Saxon 
abounded. The occupants of the railway carriage 
were, with two exceptions, English, like myself. 
There was a member of the Upper House of 
one of our colonial legislatures and his wife, 
the sister of a prominent English politician. 
With them I was already acquainted. But an 
English gentleman, who occupied one of the 
corner seats of the compartment, engaged in 
reading the Field, was a stranger. 


The train passed by rice-fields, plantations of 
sugar cane, of bananas, and of Indian corn. On 
either side of us was a rich and highly cultivated 
country. There were hedgerows as neat as those 
which separate our English fields ; and here and 
there a fox-hunter would have observed with 
disgust that barbed wire fences had spread as 
far as Java. At regular intervals, bamboo 
cottages with red-tiled roofs had been built for 
the signalmen. Amonsf the fields were scattered 
groups of tropical trees, palms, and bamboos ; 
and more than once we caught far-off glimpses 
of high mountains. The whole landscape was 
clothed in a supreme verdure. 

As we approached the neighbourhood of 
Buitenzorg, the sky suddenly became overcast. 
Tremendous masses of dense black clouds rushed 
up from the horizon, throwing into relief the 
slopes of the mountains on which the sun was 
still shining brilliantly, and deepening the ver- 
dure of the rice-fields by their shadows. A few 
minutes of pelting rain and a flash or two of 
vivid lightning low down on the horizon, and 


once more the sky was clear and the landscape 
smiling and peaceful. 

The town of Buitenzorg is situated on the 
slopes of the great volcanic mountain Salak, in 
io6° 53' 5" east longitude, and 6° 35' 8" south 
latitude. Although the elevation is only seven 
hundred feet above sea-level, the heat is never 
overpowering in the daytime, and the nights are 
delightfully cool. The mean temperature at noon, 
as indicated by the thermometer, is 82° Fahren- 
heit ; but in the dry season as much as 88° is 
sometimes registered. Moreover while on an 
average there are five months of dry weather in 
Java and three in Batavia, three weeks with- 
out rain is considered unusual in Buitenzorg. 
The heat of the sun, therefore, is tempered by 
a rainfall which is not only very heavy, but very 
uniform ; and when Batavia is steaming with 
moist heat, and the plains of the interior are 
scorched and dry, in Buitenzorg the gardens 
are still verdant and the air still tonic. 

Besides Salak, which rises to a height of seven 
thousand feet, there is another and still loftier 


mountain mass in the immediate neighbour- 
hood of the town. This is the double-peaked 
Pangerango and Gede. All three mountains 
are volcanic. Salak, however, has been silent 
since the eruption of 1699, and the peak of 
Pangerango is an extinct volcanic cone ; the only 
sign of activity is the light wreath of smoke which 
is generally to be seen hanging over the summit 
of Gede. The slopes of these great mountains 
are clothed with a foliage which is kept peren- 
nially fresh by the abundant rains. Seen from 
rising ground, they enrich the landscape with 
the beauty of their graceful elevations ; from the 
lower levels of the town, and in contrast to the 
foliage of palm or bamboo, their sheer height is 
manifested by the intense blueness of the back- 
ground they afford. 

Buitenzorgf has Ions: been the favourite resort 
of the officials and merchants of Batavia. In 
course of time the train service will no doubt 
be improved ; as it is, busy men run down to see 
their families, or merely to enjoy the comparative 
coolness of the air for the " week end," or even 
for a single night. 


The town itself contains a population of four 
thousand inhabitants. It has an excellent club, 
a museum, a race-course, and several good hotels. 
The summer residence of the Governor-General 
is in the centre of a large and beautifully wooded 
park, in which a number of deer are kept. It is 
an extensive building, consisting of an elevated 
central portion with wings on either side. It is 
built in the usual classical style affected by the 
Dutch for their public buildings, and is orna- 
mented with pilasters and pediments. Part of 
the park is occupied by the famous Botanical 
Gardens, which form the supreme attraction of 
the place to the scientific visitor. The Governor- 
General, as the highest official in the Dutch East 
Indies, receives a salary of 160,000 florins a year. 
While this personage is at Buitenzorg he may 
be frequently observed driving down the great 
avenue of Kanarie trees in his state coach drawn 
by four horses. In close connection with the 
palace (as the Governor-General's residence is 
called), but at some distance from the town, 
large and convenient barracks have lately been 


completed for the better accommodation of the 
European troops. 

I had been told not to omit to visit Batoe 
Toelis, "the place of the written stone," where 
there is an ancient inscription, and Kotta Batoe 
with its celebrated bath presided over by a 
Chinaman. My first expedition was to this 
latter place. There were three of us bent 
upon a swim before breakfast, and in order 
to save time we took a sadoe. The beauty 
and extent of the view increased as we ascended 
the slopes of Mount Salak. When we had driven 
some three miles we left the sadoe, with strict 
injunctions to the driver to wait till we re- 
turned, and proceeded to accomplish our quest 
on foot. There were three baths in all, natural 
basins of rock fed by streams of mountain 
water, and shaded by the dense foliage of lofty 
trees. One of them is circular in form, and 
the water is curiously coloured, by some trick 
of reflection or refraction, to a dull steely blue. 
A plunge in the clear cool water was well worth 
the trifling fee we paid to the celestial, and we 


returned to our hotel with a famous appetite for 

It was on the occasion of this drive that I first 
made the acquaintance of that useful domestic 
animal, the buffalo [Bos Sondaicus). He is a very 
"fine and large" animal of a mouse colour, with 
white legs and a patch of white on his quarters ; 
and has long horns lying back on his neck, where 
they cannot be the slightest use to him. His 
Javan masters find him very docile, but he has 
an awkward way with strangers. He is generally 
to be found under the care of a small boy, who 
is seated on his broad back? and who touches him 
with a rod on this side or that according to the 
direction which he desires the animal to take. 
I have already described the simple but effective 
plough to which he is yoked when working the 
sawahs,* and the methods employed by the 
natives for the cultivation of rice. 

From almost any elevated point it is possible 
to get views of the sawahs in the neighbourhood 
of Buitenzorg. The form and extent of the 

* In Chapter III. 


separate fields divided by the water-courses vary 
with the nature of the country. Each field is 
itself perfectly level, and is separated by as little 
as half a foot, or as much as four feet, from those 
immediately above and beneath it. The slopes 
of Gede are covered with such a series of vast 
and irregular terraces. Seen from Buitenzorg 
the general effect is not unlike that of the tiers 
of a theatre, while in the distance the individual 
terraces show smooth surfaces varying in colour 
from emerald green to saffron yellow, or flashing 
with the brightness of still and sunlit waters. 

Indeed, there is much to be seen at Buitenzorg 
with but little expenditure of time or trouble. 
Close at hand is the Campong, or Chinese town, 
with its quaint shops and busy market-place. 
Immediately beneath the hotel numberless bam- 
boo cottages crowded with Javanese peasants can 
be found for the looking. They lie in the midst 
of groves of cocoanut palms, hidden away almost 
as completely as if they were a hundred miles 
instead of a hundred yards from the Belle Vue. 

I spent one whole morning sketching a cot- 



tage which I found within a stone's throw of 
the hotel. Without any ceremony, I walked 
into the midst of the family circle, and seated 
myself under- the shelter of a wood shed. Had 
I known enough Malay, I should certainly have 
first asked permission before I ventured upon 
such an intrusion, for I have found a sketching- 
book an almost universal passport to civility. 
As it was, I assumed an air of conscious 
innocence, which I trusted would soon remove 
any awkward suspicions which might arise in 
the mind of the owner of the house, and pro- 
ceeded to unpack my sketching-traps. I then 
quickly sketched in the group on the verandah, 
consisting- of the mother and children. Before 
I had finished they all ran away in alarm, and 
for the next half-hour the front of the house 
was entirely deserted. I suppose they made 
up their minds at last that I was harmless, for 
they gradually came back and resumed their 
usual manner of life. The mother was occupied 
with keeping two small children in order. Be- 
sides these, there was a little boy and a girl. 




This latter was the oldest of the family. She 
was not so shy as her mother ; on the contrary, 
she arranged herself in a most becoming attitude 
against the front of the verandah. Every now 
and then the mother showed her teeth and spoke 
crossly to the baby, and once when it cried she 
whipped it with a bit of palm-leaf until it came 
to a better mind — which it did promptly. After 
a time, a Chinaman called and had a talk with 
the lady of the house. I think he wanted a 
load of firewood. An old lady also came. I 
could not fathom her business, but, from the 
interest she manifested in the children, I expect 
she was a relative of the family. 

About noon the father came back with a load 
of wood. He was a man of the world, and knew 
all about the performance. After he had looked 
at the sketch, the children, and finally the mother, 
all came round my stool and had a good long 
look at my work. Even so the mother would 
not let the children dab their toes into my paints, 
or generally become a nuisance. For this un- 
expected manifestation of a sense of the fitness 


of things, I felt grateful to her, and, before I 
went away, found a way of recompensing the 
children for the sorrow they must have felt at 
being compelled to relinquish such a rare oppor- 
tunity for getting into mischief. 

Every morning I found some quaint figure 
with which to enrich my sketch-book — a sarong- 
weaver, or a beggar crouching by the wayside, 
or a Hadji, with his large umbrella and green 
turban, the latter marking the fact of his having 
accomplished a pilgrimage to Mecca. But, 
interesting as were these human studies, my 
pleasantest recollections of Buitenzorg centre 
in the visit which I paid to the Botanical Gardens, 
under the guidance of the curator, Dr. Treub. 

My account of this, however, and of the 
gardens generally, I reserve for the next chapter. 


( M7 ) 



History of the Buitenzorg gardens — Teysmann — Schefifer 
— Three separate branches — Horticultural garden — 
Mountain garden — Botanical garden — Dr. Treub — ■ 
Lady Raffles' monument— Pandanus with aerial roots 
— Cyrtostachys renda — Stelecho - karpus — Urostigma — 
Brazilian palms — Laboratories and offices — Number of 
men employed — Scientific strangers. 

Among the twenty or thirty tropical gardens 
established in the colonial possessions of the 
various European Powers, three stand pre- 
eminent — those of Calcutta, the Peradenia 
Gardens in Ceylon, and the Dutch gardens at 
Buitenzorg. It is only natural that a people 
so distinguished for horticulture as the Dutch 
should have turned to account the floral wealth 
of the Malay Archipelago, perhaps the richest 
botanical hunting-ground in the world. The 


Buitenzorg gardens, however, owe their present 
celebrity more to individual energy than to 
Government patronage. 

Originally established in 1 8 19, in a corner of 
the park surrounding the residence of the 
Governor-General, the exigencies of colonial 
finance subsequently required the withdrawal 
of almost all the provision originally made, 
and only a sum sufficient to support a single 
European gardener was left. The salary of 
this single official was taken from the funds 
appropriated to the maintenance of the park. 
It was to this post that J. E. Teysmann was 
appointed in 1830. Educated at one of the 
primary schools in Holland, and originally 
employed as an under-gardener, he had in 
that capacity accompanied Governor Van den 
Bosch to Java. Like our own Moffat (also an 
under-gardener), Teysmann rose by his energy 
and devotion to "great honour," and, half a 
century later, received a remarkable proof of 
the esteem in which he was held in the 
scientific world, consisting of an album, within 


which were inscribed the signatures of the 
donors — one hundred famous naturalists, ranging 
from Darwen to Candolle, the Genevan. It bore 
the inscription — 

" Celeberrimo indefessoque J. E. Teysmann 
cum dimidium per sciamlum Arckipelagi indici 
thesaurum botanicum exploravit, mirantes colleges." 

During the period that the gardens ceased 
to exist as an independent institution — 1830 to 
1868 — Teysmann continued to search throughout 
the islands of the Archipelago for rare and 
undiscovered plants with which to enrich them. 
He also published catalogues embodying the 
discoveries he had made, and finally arranged 
the plants and trees upon an excellent system, 
in which they are grouped in accordance with 
their natural relationships. 

In 1868 the gardens once more became a 
public institution, with a curator and a recognized 
revenue. The new curator was Dr. Scheffer, of 
Utrecht, who in 1876 founded, in addition to 
the botanical gardens, a school of agriculture 
with a garden attached to it. This useful 


institution was subsequently suppressed by the 
Government, but the garden still survives along- 
side its parent at Buitenzorg. Dr. Scheffer died 
in 1880, when only thirty-six years of age. He 
was succeeded by the present curator, Dr. Treub. 
The Dutch Government gardens in Java, 
known to the scientific world as the Hortus 
Bogoriensis* and to the official as the Neder- 
iancis Plantentuin te Buitenzorg, contain three 
separate branches — the botanical gardens, a 
horticultural garden, and a mountain garden. 
Of these, the last is situated at some distance 
from the town, on the slopes of Mount Gede. 
It occupies seventy-five acres of land at an 
altitude of between 4000 and 5000 feet, and is 
provided with a staff of ten natives working 
under a European gardener. I was told that, 
while all European, Australian, and Japanese 
flowers would grow there, it was found impossible 
to cultivate the fruits of such temperate regions, 

* Bogor is the native name for this place ; Buitenzorg 
means " beyond care," and is therefore the equivalent of the 
French sans lourri. 


owing to the difficulty experienced in securing 
the necessary period of rest. I have since heard 
that in Fiji the difficulty is overcome by exposing 
the roots for some months, and thus preventing 
the sap from rising. Why not adopt this method 
in Java ? 

The horticultural garden adjoins the botanical 
gardens, and occupies forty acres. As already 
mentioned, it owes its existence to Dr. Scheffer, 
and it is, of course, devoted to strictly practical 
objects. Consequently, everything is arranged in 
such a manner as to make the most of the space. 
All the paths are at right angles or parallel to 
each other, and the garden generally is laid out 
with monotonous regularity. Yet no small part 
of the success of the Government gardens as 
an institution depends upon the produce of this 
department. It has for many years enabled 
the Government to distribute gratuitously the 
seeds and plants required for various colonial 
enterprises. Within its trim beds are contained 
tea and coffee plants, sugar-canes, caoutchouc 
and gutta-percha trees, Erythroxylon coca for 


cocaine, and trees producing tannin and oils. 
Various medicinal plants are also to be found 
here, and such as afford useful nourishment for 
cattle. The necessary labour for this garden is 
supplied by a head-gardener and seventy natives. 
The botanical gardens occupy ninety acres 
of the southern corner of the park, which itself 
forms their northern limit. On the east they 
are bounded by the river Tjiliwong, and on the 
west and south by the high-road from Batavia. 
Through the centre there runs the famous Altie 
des Kanaries [Canarium comimme), the boughs 
of which form an arched roof one hundred feet 
from the ground. Leading right and left from 
this central avenue run other smaller avenues, 
roads, and paths, conducting to the different 
plots in which the various families of plants 
are contained, in accordance with the system of 
arrangement introduced by Teysmann. Some 
of these paths, especially those leading to the 
lower level by the river-bank, are paved with 
pebbles after the manner of the " cobbled " streets 
oi our English villages. To this Mr. Wallace, 


in his " Malay Archipelago," takes exception 
on the score of discomfort. I was assured, 
however, that they are a necessary evil, and 
that the heavy rains to which Buitenzorg was 
liable, made it necessary to have the firmest 
kind of pathway in such places. At either end 
of the avenue there are lodges, but no gates, 
and the gardens are left open day and night 
without any fear of injury. This fortunate 
condition of affairs is not unusual in Java, but 
in this case security is partly ensured by the 
proximity of a large military force and the frequent 
presence of the Governor-General. 

As Dr. Treub had kindly offered to act as my 
guide, I found my way one morning to his house 
at the early hour of half-past seven. The 
residence provided for the curator is situated 
on the left side of the southern entrance. The 
deep verandah is furnished with some brilliant 
groups of flowers. Opening on to it is a little 
morning-room hung with some elegant engravings 
— reproductions of Salon pictures. Here I 
found Dr. Treub waiting for me. 


After a few moments' conversation we left 
the house and passed down the avenue. Some 
hundred yards onwards, to the right, there is 
a stone monument interesting to Englishmen. 
It consists of a circular roof supported by pillars, 
protecting a funereal urn placed upon a square 
pedestal. On the pedestal the following in- 
scription is engraved : — 

" Sacred to the memory of Olivia Mariamne, 
wife of Thomas Stamford Raffles, Lieutenant- 
Governor of Java and its dependencies, who died 
at Buitenzorg on the 26th of November, 18 14." 

Although the site of this monument is more 
humble than that of Sir Thomas Raffles' statue 
at Singapore, it is scarcely less interesting ; and 
the repair and preservation of the stonework is 
secured by a special clause in the treaty of 
cession. I think it was just here that Dr. Treub 
turned away from the Canary Avenue, and, taking- 
one of the paths to the right, led me forward 
towards the river. 

I had asked him if he would point out any 
trees specially worthy of being sketched, and he 


had very readily acceded to my request. After 
we had walked a few minutes, however, he said — 

" I am in a difficulty ; I do not know what to 
show you. We have some most curious plants in 
the garden, but there is nothing remarkable about 
them externally. I suppose you want something 
with a cachet for the public ? " 

I said he was quite right in his supposition. 
What I wanted was something of interest from 
a picturesque point of view to the general public. 

<( There," he said, pointing to a tall tree with 
a growth and foliage of no distinct character, " is 
a strychnine tree ; from the berries of that tree 
we get nux vomica ; but if you drew that, they 
would say, ' Why, it is an apple-tree ; it is not 
worth going to the tropics to see that.' 3 

By this time we had almost reached the banks 
of the Tjiliwong, and again turning to the right, 
where grew the pandans, " There," he said, " is 
a tree with aerial roots. It comes from the 
Nicobar Islands, just north-west of Sumatra. I 
think it is about twenty-eight feet in height. No, 
the roots do not contribute to its nourishment ; 


they are useless but very curious." From the 
pandans we passed to the palms. First we 
noticed a specimen of comparatively low growth, 
with its leaves springing from the ground like the 
leaves of a primrose — Ladoicea Sechellarum. It 
bore, I was told, the largest fruit and the largest 
leaves of any known tree, the former being two, 
and the latter ten, feet in diameter. " Unfor- 
tunately, there is no fruit on it," said Dr. Treub, 
" but you can see that in any museum. You see, 
the stems of the leaves are as hard as iron." 
Indeed, they gave quite a metallic ring as he 
drove the ferrule of his walking stick against 
them. A few steps further brought us to a tree 
which Dr. Treub said had no special character- 
istics, but was a perfect natural specimen of the 
palm family. It stood about forty feet in height, 
and was furnished with foliage which hung 
gracefully suspended from a straight tapering 
stem. Then at the next corner, where its beauty 
showed to advantage, we came upon a group of 
red-stemmed palms from the little island of 
Banka. A fortnight later I was anchored off 


Mentok, the capital of that island, in a Dutch 
mail boat ; but at this time I had no knowledge 
of the habitat of this fair tree — nor, indeed, had 
I seen it before, although a few weeks afterwards 
I found two fine specimens growing on either 
side of the entrance of a private house at Singa- 
pore. It needs an expert to describe so rare a 
combination of brilliant colours and graceful form. 
Mr. Forbes, the naturalist, in his account of his 
"Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago," tells 
how he passed down through "plots of amaryl- 
lidese, iris, and other water-loving plants" in this 
quarter of the garden ; and how he found the 
" glory" of "the richest palmetum in the world — 
the Cyrtostachys renda, whose long bright scarlet 
leaf-sheaths and flower-spathes, and its red fruit 
and deep yellow inflorescence hanging side by 
side, at once arrest the eye." 

From this point we again ascended to the 
higher level of the garden by a path paved with 
pebbles and cut into steps. Then "faring on 
our way," we reached the division marked 
Anonacece, and there my eye came upon a sight 


which rivalled in wonder the golden bough of 
the sixth y^Eneid which the doves of Venus 
showed to ^Eneas : 

" Tollunt se celeres, liquidumque per aera lapsse, 
Sedibus optatis geminse super arbore sidunt, 
Discolor unde auri per ramos aura refulsit." 

In this case the "contrasting golden beam" 
shone not from the foliage, but, stranger still, 
from the black trunk of a tall tree. It was a 
stelecho-karpus, or stem-flowering tree. The 
trunk from which the deep saffron flowers sprang 
was about one foot and three inches in diameter, 
and the flowers themselves were much like 
bunches of primroses, only darker in colour and 
divested of their leaves. Unlike tineas, we 
passed forward without any floral spoils — for, 
indeed, we had no such awkward personage as 
Charon to reckon with — among dark, cool, tree- 
arched avenues of figs and banyans to the northern 
limit. On our way we paused once to notice a 
fine " sacred fig" of India {urostigma), a tree with 
remarkably angular boughs ; and again when Dr. 
Treub stopped, and, pointing to the frangipane 


blossom, said, " That is the flower of religion in 
India, being sacred to Buddha; the Malays here 
call it the ' flower of the dead.' ' In this quarter 
the trees were larger and of more robust growth, 
and the appearance of the garden more natural 
to my Northern eyes. A sudden turn brought 
us to a projecting spur, on which was built a little 
summer-house commandinof a view of the sur- 
rounding country. Far away the double mountain 
Pangerango and Gede rose blue and shadowy, 
with just a wreath of smoke showing from the 
volcanic peak. In the middle ground stretched 
masses of tropical forests edging the bright green 
terraces of the savah land. At our feet the 
river ran bubbling and fretting over the brown 

In returning we skirted the central lake, and, 
having crossed the avenue, passed down a broad 
roadway lined with rich foliage. This was so 
arranged as to afford a view of Mount Salak 
to the southern windows of the Governor-General's 
residence. It was one of the many glimpses 
which appeared of a sheer height of dark azure 



contrasted with the bright green of palm or 
bamboo. Leaving this, we passed down an avenue 
of Brazilian palms, running parallel to the Canary 
Avenue. Each tree was almost too faultlessly 
perfect in its graceful foliage and smooth rounded 
stem, and of apparently equal height. Round 
the surfaces of these stems the green leaves and 
purple flowers of convolvuli clung. A few yards 
beyond the termination of this avenue we left 
the path and entered a wilderness of climbing 
plants. Carefully advancing (for there were arms 
stretched out on every side ready to pluck flesh 
or clothing), we took our stand opposite the coils 
of a huge climbing palm. 

"There are branches," said Dr. Treub, "from 
this plant six hundred feet in length ; it passes, 
as you see, from tree to tree." 

On reaching the path, I found that we had 
completed the circuit of the gardens, and were 
once more in the neighbourhood of the nurseries 
and buildings. These latter are numerous and 
extensive, for the curator of the Buitenzorof 
gardens aims not only at obtaining a wide 


range of vegetable products, and thus serving 
the needs of colonial industries, but also at 
accomplishing researches in the pathology and 
physiology of plants. In this way Dr. Treub 
expects a useful development for the tropical 
gardens generally, which he considers have only 
lately become genuine centres of scientific re- 
search. At Buitenzorg, in addition to a museum 
containing an extensive herbarium and a botanical 
librarv of over five thousand volumes, there are 
numerous laboratories and offices accommodating 
the curator and his three assistants, and draughts- 
men, who are competent to employ the methods 
of photography and lithography in reproducing 
the forms of plants. Under the direction of 
this staff there are employed a number of natives, 
including three Malays with special botanical 
knowledge, a head-gardener, and nine under- 
gardeners, and scarcely less than a hundred 
coolies. Altogether there are nine thousand 
distinct species of plants contained in the 
gardens. On our way to the strangers' labora- 
tory we passed a number of trellis-work houses, 


with creepers trained over their sides and roofs. 
" You see," said Dr. Treub, with a smile, " we 
have cool houses here instead of hot houses. 
They are for forest plants accustomed to coolness 
and shelter." 

I was especially asked to notice the complete- 
ness of the arrangements made for scientific 
visitors. The laboratory is seventy-five feet in 
length, and opposite each of the ten windows 
(five on either side) is placed a table fitted with 
optical instruments and other necessary means 
of botanical research. It is also provided with 
a small library and herbarium. In reference to 
the strangers' laboratory, Dr. Treub remarked 
that he specially desired to see Englishmen 
avail themselves of it. German and French 
savants had come to Buitenzorg to study, but 
no Englishmen as yet. 

I visited these gardens on several occasions 
during my short stay at Buitenzorg, and often 
wandered among the dark tree-arched paths 
and avenues. On each occasion I found some 
new beauty. One day it was a lakelet covered 



with great water-plants ; another day a gorgeous 
plot of orchids, or a fresh piece of landscape. 
These subsequent visits, however, lacked that 
which gave so great a charm to my first walk 
through the gardens — the spontaneous courtesy 
and graceful learning of the curator. 





View of Mount Salak — Railway travelling in Java — Soeka- 
boemi — No coolies — A long walk — Making a pikulan — 
Forest path — Tji Wangi at last. 

It is two in the afternoon, and I have just taken 
the curious Javan meal called rice-table. Every- 
one else in the hotel, visitors and servants alike, 
are asleep. The doors of my rooms are all open, 
and there is a through draught from the courtyard 
to the verandah, where I am seated in a long 
easy chair with arms extending at will after the 
manner of the tropics. By my side on a table 
are placed cigars, a glass of iced claret and water, 
and a novel. 

The view from the back rooms of the Hotel 
Belle Vue at Buitenzorg is famous. This 
afternoon I am looking at it for the last time, 


and it seems more wonderful than ever. Let 
me try to describe it. 

Immediately in front is the great triangular 
mass of Mount Salak. The peak is 7000 feet 
above sea-level, and, like most of the Javan 
mountains, it rises to its full height almost clear 
from its base. The lower levels are luxuriantly 
covered with tropical forests, a covering which 
gradually thins and dwindles until the apex of 
the triangle stands out sharply against the sky. 
Between the hotel and the mountain there 
stretches a sea of waving treetops. In the 
distance it is deep blue; as it approaches it 
grows more and more green ; then separate 
forms of palms and bamboos can be distin- 
guished, with red-tiled or brown-thatched roofs 
showing between them. Immediately beneath 
me is the brown river Tjiliwong, with bamboo 
cottages on its banks and natives bathing in its 

Inside the courtyard no one is stirring. The 
dreamy silence is only broken by the voices that 
rise from the river below, by the clacking of the 


sarong weaver's shuttle or the dull boom of a 
far-away tom-tom. 

Under such circumstances the conditions 
necessary for perfect physical enjoyment are 
very fully realized. Yet it is at such moments 
that one is apt to reflect how unimportant are 
these material considerations compared with the 
advantages of strenuous and reasoned action. 
One lon^s for the stir of life as it is felt in 
the great centres of European population ; 

" Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay." 

Well, I was going to see some European 
energy on the morrow. At Batavia an English 
resident had said, "When you are at Buitenzorg 
you should go on to Soekaboemi and see a coffee 
plantation.' Subsequently he wrote that his friend 

H would expect me on Tuesday at his coffee 

plantation with an unpronounceable name in the 
Preanger district. The morrow was Tuesday. 

Soekaboemi was only thirty or forty miles 
away, but I left Buitenzorg at eight o'clock in 
order to escape the discomfort of travelling in 


the middle of the day. It goes without saying 
that trains in the tropics do not carry you along 
as quickly as the Flying Dutchman or the Scotch 
express. But I found the carriages comfortable 
enough, being built in the American fashion, and 
furnished with Venetians to keep out the sun 
and let in the air. Except the station-masters, 
all the officials were Chinese or Javan natives. 
The guard who looked at my ticket wore the 
traditional peaked cap and cloth uniform, but 
over his European garments he had appended 
as usual his airy native costume. Of the four 
classes of carriages two are reserved for Euro- 
peans, one for Chinese, and one for the natives. 

In leaving Buitenzorg I made the mistake of 
taking a first-class ticket. In the first place, the 
carnage had not been dusted, and a cooly came 
in and disturbed me with his brush. He made 
such a cloud of dust that I had to beat a retreat. 
On my return I found the carriage clean, but 
the dust transferred to my baggage. In the 
next place, all the Dutch officials, and the 
planters and their wives, were travelling second 


class, and I was left to enjoy (?) my compartment 
in solitary grandeur. Had there been any one 
in the carriage, I should have found out that 

Soekaboemi was not the right station for H 's 

plantation. As it was I could open and shut 
windows at will, and I was free to make the best 
of my opportunities for sight-seeing — an object 
towards which the slow pace of the train and the 
frequent and lengthy stoppages materially con- 
tributed. Indeed, the crowds of natives at the 
stations were as well worth studying as the moun- 
tains ;and plantations. I never saw elsewhere, 
even in Java, such rainbow mixtures of colours 
as they contrived to bring into their cotton 
jackets and dresses ; and as for their plaited hats, 
there was every possible variety of shape and 
size, from an umbrella to a funnel. 

For the first few miles the line ran southwards 
between Salak and Gede. On either side I could 
see stretches of mountain slopes luxuriously 
wooded, while the brown stream Tji Sadanie, 
a tributary of the Kali Besar, or "great river" 
of Batavia, playing hide-and-seek with the rail- 


road, afforded more than one charming " bit " of 

river, tree, and mountain. 

As we get away from the mountains the view 

widens. Masses of palms, dark green bamboos, 

and other tropical growths fill up the distance. 

In the foreground are irrigated rice terraces, with 
gleaming waters and the freshest of verdure. 

Here copper-coloured natives are at work. Men 
are ploughing the wet soil of the sawahs with 
buffaloes ; women — often with their babies slung 
on their backs with their long scarfs — are hoeing, 
or weeding, or reaping. As the average monthly 
temperature does not vary more than two 
degrees all the year round in Java, the process 
of preparing the ground, sowing, and reaping go 
on simultaneously in the ricefields. Every now 
and then we come across a queer little Noah's- 
ark cottage in the midst of bananas and bamboos, 
with a tall palm or two v/aving overhead. Salak 
remains long- in sight. At first it towered in its 
pride of greatness, then it grew soft in the blue 
distance. At last the railway turns abruptly at 
Karan Tenjak, and it is gone. 


As the train nears Soekaboemi the character 
of the country changes. Plantations of sugar in 
the level country and of tea on the uplands take 
the place of ricefields. The name Soekaboemi 
means "pleasant place," and the town is the 
centre of the planting interest in Java. In its 
immediate neighbourhood are coffee, cinchona, 
and tea plantations. 

At a quarter to eleven the train drew up in 
a large and excellently arranged station. I at 
once made my way outside. Here I looked in 
vain for the horses and coolies I expected to 
meet me. After waiting some moments, I con- 
fided my troubles to a bystander, addressing him 
in French, which is spoken by the Europeans in 
Java almost as much as Dutch. Fortunately Tji 

Wangi — the unpronounceable name of H 's 

plantation — seemed to be well known, and he 
grasped the situation at once. 

" You ought to have gone to Tji Reingass," 
he said ; " the coolies will be there." 

" How far am I from Tji Wangi ? Is it 
within driving distance ? " I inquired. 



" Can I take a sadoe ? " 

" Yes, certainly." 

There were several sadoes outside the station 
at Soekaboemi. As my knowledge of Malay, the 
recognized language for communication between 
natives and Europeans, was strictly limited, 
I asked my new friend to find out if the Malay 
"boy" knew where Tji Wangi was. This he 
readily did, and told me that it was all right ; 
that he would take me to Tji Wangi. So I got 
into the sadoe, expecting to be driven promptly 
to my destination. 

But the thing was not so simple. After an 
hour and a half of driving over mountain roads, 
the Malay pulled up suddenly under the shelter 
of a wayside inn. While I was wondering why 
he stopped, he coolly took out my luggage and 
planted it in the middle of the road in front of 
the sadoe. After this very broad hint, I got 
out too. 

" Mana Tji Wangi " (''Where is Tji Wangi ") ? 
I said. 


For answer he pointed with his thumb over 
his shoulder to the mountain. 
" Brapa lama" (" How long") ? 
" Suku jam " (" A quarter of an hour "), was the 
mendacious and unhesitating reply. 

Meanwhile a cooly, who had been summoned 
from the ricefields, appeared upon the scene 
and took up my Gladstone bag. Nothing re- 
mained for me but to pay my mendacious 
Malay half the number of florins he demanded 
and follow my new guide. 

As a matter of fact, Tji Wangi was ten 
miles away on the other side of the Goenoeng 
Malang, or Cross Mountain. This, of course, 
I did not know, and so I set off cheerfully 
up the side of the mountain. Although it 
was midday, the heat was not oppressive 
at this altitude (two thousand feet), and I 
was clothed for the tropics. When an hour 
had passed and there were still no signs of 
the plantation, I began to feel less cheerful. I 
stopped and interrogated the cooly. He smiled 
blandly. He at least was suffering from no 


misgivings. Like the young man in " Excelsior," 
he pointed upwards. We met some natives ; 
I accosted them with " Mana Tji Wangi ? ' 
They too pointed up the mountain. At any 
rate, we were travelling in the right direction. 
I noticed that the natives we met behaved very 
differently from the saucy sadoe-drivers in the 
towns. As we passed they stood on one side 
with their heads uncovered. When I spoke 
to them, they squatted down and sat with their 
legs tucked up under them and their hats off 
in a most uncomfortable way. I afterwards 
learnt that these traditions of Oriental etiquette 
were preserved by the Dutch and English 
planters in the interests of discipline. As the 
plantations are often long distances apart, the 
Europeans have to rely upon moral force to 
maintain their ascendency. Another half-hour 
passed and still no signs of Tji Wangi. We 
had met no Europeans, and I was beginning 
to get uneasy, when we came to a second inn. 

Here I ordered a halt. The shade of the 
projecting roof was very welcome. My eyes 


could not reach the dark interior, but they 
ranged hungrily — I had eaten nothing since 
my early breakfast — over the edibles laid out 
in front. There were fruits and cakes, little 
messes of vegetables, dried fish, and other 
odd-looking delicacies on plates. I decided on a 
big bunch of bananas. In payment I gave a 
half-florin — worth rather less than a shilling of 
English money — and I received in return quite 
a handful of silver and copper coins. I con- 
cluded that bananas were not expensive in Java. 

While I was eating my bananas, my cooly 
set to work to make a pikulan, or shoulder-piece. 
He took a long bamboo and stripped off the 
leaves and branches with his gaulok, a long 
knife which every native carries at his waist. 
By the aid of this contrivance — borrowed from 
China — the Javan natives carry burdens up to 
half a hundredweight without apparent exertion 
for long distances. The spring of the bamboo 
eases the pressure on the shoulder. On the 
same principle, an Australian carries his swag 
with a lurch forward. 


While he was busied with the pikulan, the 
cooly talked over the affairs of the Tuan Ingris 
(English gentleman) to a crowd of natives. 
Suddenly I heard the word kuda. Fortunately 
kuda (horse) was one of the words I knew : 
and I at once ordered the kuda to be brought. 
Half a dozen natives set off to find it. It 
turned out to be a very diminutive pony, but 
I was not prepared to criticize. 

We set out from the inn under brighter 
auspices. The cooly slung my Gladstone bag 
at one end of the pikulan, and another small 
bag, with a big stone to balance, at the other. 
He moved with an elastic step, as if there was 
no greater pleasure in the world than carrying 
bags up mountain paths, and beat the kuda 
hands down. 

Relieved of the fatigue of walking, I could 
admire the mountain scenery. As we climbed 
higher and higher, the stretches of green country 
grew more extensive, and the blue mountains 
seemed to grow loftier in the distance. Once over 
the saddle of the mountain, we descended rapidly 



into a region of almost virgin forest. Ferns and 
large-leaved trees overhung the path ; from the 
verdant undergrowth there sprang at intervals 
the vast round trunks of the rosamala trees. 
In the branches high above, and beyond the 
range of any gun, the wild pigeons fluttered and 
cooed. The spaces between the great trees were 
filled by a background of dense forest. 

About five o'clock the red roofs of the planta- 
tion came in sight. In another five minutes I 
was being- welcomed with Anglo-Saxon hearti- 

ness. " Ah ! " said H , as he looked at my 

little pony. " I sent you down a horse that 
would have brought you up within the hour. 
You should have gone to Tji Reingass ; that is 
our station, not Soekaboemi. Johnston ought to 
have known. Come in." 

In H 's comfortable den I soon forgot the 

various contretemps of my journey to Tji Wangi. 

( H7 ) 



Financial system previous to the British occupation — Raffles' 
changes — Return of the Dutch — Financial policy — 
Van den Bosch Governor-General — Introduction of the 
culture system — Its application to sugar — To other 
industries — Financial results of the system — Its abandon- 
ment — Reasons of this — Present condition of trade in 
Java — Financial outlook. 

As I have already mentioned, the Colonial 
Government succeeded the Dutch East India 
Company in the administration of Java towards 
the end of the last century. During the period 
antecedent to the British occupation, the revenue 
of the Government was derived from two mono- 
polies : (i) that of producing the more valuable 
crops, and (2) that of trading in all products 
whatever. Meanwhile the mass of the natives 
were left entirely to the mercy of the native 


princes, by whom they were subjected to all 
manner of exactions. 

The financial results of this state of things 
were seen in the fact that in 18 10 the gross 
revenue of Java was only three and a half 
million florins,* a sum wholly inadequate to the 
requirements of administration. 

During the five years of British occupation 
(181 1-1816) Sir Stamford Raffles was Lieutenant- 
Governor. He at once introduced reforms. 
The native princes were displaced ; the village 
community, with its common property and patri- 
archal government, was modified ; a system of 
criminal and civil justice, similar to that in force 
in India, in which a European judge sat with 
native assessors, was introduced ; the peasants 
were given proprietary rights in the soil they 
cultivated ; and complete political and commercial 
liberty was established. An inquiry into the 
nature of the respective rights in the soil of the 
cultivator, the native princes, and the Govern- 
ment resulted in establishing the fact that, of 

* 12 florins = £, 1. 


the subject territory the Government was sole 
owner of seven-tenths. Of the remainder, two- 
tenths belonged to the Preanger Regents, and 
one-tenth was occupied by private estates, chiefly 
in the neighbourhood of Buitenzorg and Batavia. 
In order to teach the native the western virtues 
of industry and independence, Raffles determined 
to introduce the Ryotwarree system. The 
property in the land vested in the Government 
was handed over to individual peasant proprietors. 
In return for his land each proprietor was made 
individually and personally responsible for the 
payment of his land tax, and his land was liable 
to be sold in satisfaction of his public or private 

Before the English administration the peasant 
had paid — (i) a land rent for his rice lands to 
the native princes, amounting to a sum equivalent 
to one-half of the produce of sawah (irrigated) 
and one-third of tegal (unirrigated) lands ; and 
(2) a tax of forced labour to the Dutch Govern- 
ment, which took the form of unpaid labour in 
the cultivation of the produce for export. Raffles 


abolished both, and in place of them he estab- 
lished a fixed money payment equivalent to a 
much smaller proportion of the produce of the 
land than had been paid before to the native 
princes alone. 

The Dutch regained their East Indian posses- 
sions by the Treaty of London. On their return 
to Java, they restored the village community 
with its joint ownership and joint liability, and 
abolished all proprietary rights of the natives 
in the soil, only allowing ownership of land 
to Europeans. They contend that this at- 
tempt of Raffles to apply Western principles 
to an Eastern society had already proved dis- 
astrous. The peasants, on the one hand, had 
not acquired the habits necessary for the suc- 
cessful development of their holdings, but, on 
the other, through their inability to pay the 
land rent, were becoming hopelessly involved 
in debt to the Chinese and Arab money-lenders. 
The broad fact, however, remains that during 
the short period of British rule the revenue rose 
from three and a half to seven and a half 


million florins, and the population from four to 
five and a half millions. 

As the old monopolies from which the chief 
part of the revenue had formerly been derived 
had been abolished by the policy of unrestricted 
commerce introduced by Raffles, it was necessary 
to find some other method of raising money. It 
was decided to retain the land tax as a basis of 
revenue, but, in order to make it more profitable, 
a return was made to the original principle of 
land tenure under native rule, by which the culti- 
vator paid one-fifth of his labour and one-fifth 
of his produce in return for the usufruct of the 
land. One day of gratuitous labour in seven (the 
European week) was substituted for one day in 
five formerly given to the landlord. In certain 
districts, namely, those of which the Dutch be- 
came possessed by treaty and not by conquest, 
this contribution in kind and labour was paid to 
the native princes, and not to the Government. 
On private estates, again, as the Government had 
parted with their feudal rights in alienating the 
property, a tax of three-fourths per cent, on the 


estimated value of the property was substituted. 
This tax, called verpondi?ig, was at most equivalent 
to one-fifth of the net yearly income. 

As before, the produce due from the peasants 
cultivating Government lands was commuted 
into a money payment assessed upon the rice 
crops ; but this payment was made, not by the 
individual peasants, but by the wedanas, or vil- 
lage chiefs, on behalf of the whole community. 
Beside the land tax, an additional source of 
income remained in the profit arising from the 
sale of coffee, grown either by the Preanger 
Regents and sold to the Government at prices 
fixed by treaty, or on the coffee plantations estab- 
lished by Marshall Daendels, which were now 

These two methods of raising revenue were 
resorted to by the Dutch upon their return to the 
island, and continued in force during the period 
1 8 16-1833. They were wholly inadequate. 
Whether the Dutch were right or not in charac- 
terizing Raffles' reforms as a failure, it is certain 
that nothing could be more desperate than the 


state of the island in the years immediately pre- 
ceding the introduction of the culture system. 
At the end of the period 18 16-1833 both revenue 
and population seem to have become stationary. 
The mass of the natives were becoming so im- 
poverished that they ceased to be able to keep 
a supply of domestic animals and implements 
necessary for the cultivation of their lands. Apart 
from the princes, there was no class, merchants 
or tradespeople, possessing any wealth that could 
be taxed. Not only was the revenue stagnant, 
but, owing to a war with the sultans of the 
interior, a debt of over 35,000,000 florins was 
incurred by the Government. In a word, the 
colony seemed likely to become an intolerable 
burden to Holland. It was at this crisis that 
General Van den Bosch proposed the culture 
system as a means of rescuing the island from its 
financial and social difficulties. 

The immediate object of the culture system 
was to extend the cultivation of sugar, coffee, 
and other produce suited for European con- 
sumption ; its ultimate object was to develop 


the resources of the island. This latter was, 
of course, the most important. Van den Bosch 
saw that the natives would never be able to do 
this by themselves. In the first place, they were 
still organized on the patriarchal model in village 
communities ; and, in the second, owing to the 
tropical climate and the extreme ease with which 
life could be sustained in so fertile a country, 
they were naturally indolent and unprogressive. 
He therefore proposed to organize their labour 
under European supervision. By this method 
he thought that he would be able both to raise 
the revenue and to improve the condition of 
the peasants by teaching them to grow valuable 
produce in addition to the rice crops on which 
they depended for subsistence. Van den Bosch 
became Governor-General of Java and its de- 
pendencies in 1830. Before leaving Holland 
he had made his proposals known, and obtained 
the approval of the Netherlands Government. 
He took with him newly appointed officials free 
from colonial traditions, and his reforms inspired 
such confidence, that a number of well-educated 


and intelligent persons were willing to emigrate 
with their families to Java in order to take up 
the business of manufacturing the produce grown 
under the new system. Upon his arrival in the 
island, a special branch cf the Colonial Adminis- 
tration was created. The first work of the new 
department was to found the sugar industry. 
It was necessary to supply the manufacturers 
with both capital and income. Accordingly, a 
sum amounting to ,£14,000 was placed to the 
credit of each manufacturer in the books of the 
department. Of this sum he was allowed to 
draw up to .£125 per month for the expenses 
of himself and his family during the first two 
years. From the third year onwards he paid 
back one-tenth annually. Thus at the end of 
twelve years the capital was repaid. The 
manufacturer was to apply the capital so ad- 
vanced to the construction of the sugar-mill, 
which was to be fitted with the best European 
machinery, and worked by water-power. Free 
labour, and timber from the Government planta- 
tions, was supplied ; and the customs duties upon 


the machinery and implements imported were 
remitted. The building of the mills was super- 
vised by the controleurs, the officials of the new 
department, and had to be carried out to their 
satisfaction. The department also undertook to 
see that the peasants in the neighbourhood of 
each mill should have from seven hundred to a 
thousand acres planted with sugar-canes by the 
time the mills were in working order. In Java, 
as in other Eastern countries, the landlord has the 
right of selecting the crop which the tenant is to 
plant, and therefore the peasants saw nothing 
unusual in this action of the Government. The 
controleurs ascertained, in the case of each village, 
how much rice land was necessary for the sub- 
sistence of the village, and they then ordered 
the remainder, usually one-fifth, to be planted 
with sugar-canes. At the same time, they 
explained that the value of the crop of sugar 
would be much greater than that of the rice 
crop, and promised that the peasants should be 
paid not only for the crops, but also for the 
labour of cutting the canes and carrying them 










to the mill. When, at the end of two years, 
the mills had been built and the plantations 
established, another advance was made by the 
department to the manufacturers. This was 
capital sufficient to pay for the value of the sugar 
crop, estimated as it stood, for the wages of the 
peasants, and generally for the expenses of 
manufacture. This second advance was at once 
repaid by the produce of the mill. At first the 
department required the manufacturer to deliver 
the whole amount of produce to them at a price 
one-third in excess of the cost of production. 
Subsequently he was allowed the option of 
delivering the whole crop to Government, or 
of delivering so much of the produce only as 
would pay for the interest on the crop advance, 
together with the instalment of the original 
capital annually due. Working on these terms, 
large profits were made by the manufacturers, 
and there soon came to be a demand for such 
new contracts as the Government had at their 

As for the peasants, they were undoubtedly 


benefited by the introduction of the system. 
While the land rent continued to be calculated 
as before, on a basis of the produce of ricefields, 
the value of the sugar crop was so much greater 
than that of the rice, which it partially displaced, 
that the money received for it amounted on the 
average to twice the sum paid to Government 
for land rent on the whole of the village land. 
Moreover, although the estimated price of the 
crop was paid to the wedanas, or village chiefs, 
the wages for cutting and carrying were paid to 
the peasants individually. The value of the crop, 
the rate of wages, and the relations between the 
peasants and the manufacturers generally, were 
settled by the controleurs. 

In 1 87 1, when the culture system was in full 
operation, there were 39,000 bouzus, or 70,000 
acres, under sugar-cane, giving employment to 
222,000 native families, and ninety-seven sugar- 
mills had been started. One-third of the 
produce was delivered to Government at the 
rate of eight florins per picul,* and the remain- 
* The picul = 135 lbs. 


ing two-thirds were sold by the manufacturers in 
open market. In the five years 1 866-1 870 the 
Government profit on sugar amounted to rather 
more than 25,000,000 florins. 

Subsequently the cultivation of coffee, indigo, 
cochineal, tobacco, pepper, tea, and cinchona was 
added to that of sugar. The system pursued 
was not identical in the case of all produce. 
Cochineal, indigo, tea, and tobacco were culti- 
vated in a manner similar to that adopted for 
suo-ar. But in the case of coffee, cinnamon, and 
pepper it was not found necessary to have any 
manufacturers between the controleurs and the 
peasants. Of these coffee, the most important, 
is grown on lands having an elevation of from 
2000 to 4500 feet. Each head of a family 
is required to plant a certain number of trees 
in gardens (the maximum was fixed in 1877 at 
fifty a year), and to keep a nursery of young 
trees to replenish the plantations. These 
gardens and nurseries are all inspected by 
native and European officials. The process of 
harvesting the berry is similarly supervised, but 


after that is accomplished the peasants are left 
to dry, clean, and sort the berries by themselves, 
and are allowed to deliver the crop at the coffee 
stores at their own convenience. Finally, private 
persons contract for periods of two or three years 
to pack and transport the coffee to the central 
stores at the ports. Of the coffee produced on 
Government account, one-fifth only is sold in 
Java, and the remainder is sent home to Europe 
and sold there. 

The culture system was so successful as a 
financial expedient, that between the years 1831 
and 1875 the colonial revenue yielded surpluses 
to Holland amounting to 725,000,000 florins. 
This total seems the more remarkable when 
we know that from 1838 onwards, the colonial 
revenue was charged with 200,000,000 florins 
of the public debt of Holland, being the propor- 
tion borne by Belgium before the separation of 
the two countries, which took place at that date. 

In 1876, however, the long series of surpluses 
ceased, and they have since been replaced by 
deficits almost as continuous. These deficits 


are due to three well-ascertained causes : (i) the 
Achin war, (2) public works, and (3) the fall 
in the price of sugar and coffee. In order to 
show that this remarkable change in the financial 
fortunes of Java is in no way due to the culture 
system, it is necessary to go somewhat more into 

(1) Before the outbreak of the Achin war in 
1873, the average expenditure of the Colonial 
Government for military purposes was 30,000,000 
florins annually. During the period 1873-1884 
this expenditure rose to an average of 50,000,000 
florins, and the total cost of the war during that 
period amounted to 240,000,000 florins. Since 
1884 the expenditure has been reduced by con- 
fining the operations of the troops to such as 
are purely defensive ; even then the average 
annual expenditure has reached 40,000,000 florins. 

(2) Since 1875 the construction of railways and 
of other public works, notably the harbour works 
at Tanjong Priok, the port of Batavia, has been 
undertaken by Government. Since the cost has 
been paid out of current revenue, and not raised 



by loans, these works have necessitated a further 
annual expenditure of 8,000,000 florins. The 
total sum spent in public works between the 
years 1875-1884, amounting to 75,000,000 florins, 
is almost exactly equivalent to the deficit incurred 
during the same period. 

(3) In suffering from the competition of France 
in sugar, and of Brazil in coffee, Java has not 
been peculiar. The British West Indian colonies 
are at the present time most disastrously affected 
by the bounty-fed sugar industry of France, and 
Ceylon is only just learning how to compensate 
itself for the diminution of its coffee export by 
the introduction of a new industry — tea. 

As for the general progress of the island, it 
is sufficiently indicated by the fact that since 
the date (1 83 1) of the introduction of the system, 
the population has increased from six to twenty- 
three millions, and the revenue from thirty million 
florins to one hundred and thirty-two. 

Although the culture system has yielded such 
satisfactory results, it has been gradually 
abandoned since 1871. 


The reason for this change of policy is the feel- 
ing that the system, though necessary originally to 
develop the resources of the island, is at variance 
with the best interests of the natives, and hinders 
the introduction of private enterprise and capital. 
Increased commercial prosperity is expected to 
compensate for the loss of revenue caused 
by the withdrawal of the Government from the 
work of production. In the mean time, it has 
been found necessary to impose various new 
and direct taxes. The most important of these 
is a poll tax on the natives, which has taken 
the place of the personal services formerly 
rendered by them on the Government plan- 
tations. Originally imposed in 1871, it yielded 
two and a half million florins in 1886. Another 
compensating source of revenue is the growth 
of the verponding. As already mentioned, this 
is a tax of three-fourths per cent, on the capital 
value of house property and industrial plant. 
It is assessed every three years, and therefore 
is an accurate test of the growth of private 
wealth invested in the colony. In the fifteen 


years from 1871 to 1886, the amount yielded by 
this tax showed a growth of seventy-five per cent. 

It is not necessary to detail the various steps 
by which the Dutch have carried out this policy 
of abandonment. It is sufficient to note the 
general result. 

To-day all industries, with the exception of 
coffee, opium, and salt, are free. In the pro- 
duction of the two latter, opium and salt, the 
Colonial Government maintains a complete 
monopoly ; in the case of coffee they compete 
with the planters. The extent of the shares 
respectively taken by the Government and 
private enterprise in the trade of the island is 
exhibited by the following returns for 1889 : — 

Imports. Exports. 

Government ... 13,009,445 florins 33>07 2 > x 75 florins 
Private persons ... 160,375,326 „ 164,590,439 „ 

Total ... i73>384>77i » 197,662,614 „ 

The Government still produces two-thirds of 
the coffee crop. In 1889 the amount produced 
respectively by the Government and the planters 
was 578,000 and 356,000 piculs. 


Of the two chief industries of the island, sugar 
and coffee, the exports in 1890 amounted in 
value to fifty and fifteen million florins re- 
spectively. To these must be added two new 
industries — tea and cinchona bark. The former 
is only in its infancy, and is confined to the 
immediate neighbourhood of Soekaboemi, the 
head-quarters of the planting interest in Java. 
Here there are two important estates, Sinagar 
and Parakan Salak, which are from 12,000 to 
15,000 acres in extent. The latter industry is 
especially hopeful. In 1890 the area of cinchona 
plantations was 22,500 acres, and 6,000,000 
pounds of bark, containing four per cent, of 
sulphate of quinine, was exported. This amount 
is equivalent to half the world's supply for the 

Of the import trade it is not necessary to 
say more than that the most important item 
is that of the various cotton goods, coming 
mainly from this country, which serve the natives 
with material for clothing suitable for their 
tropical climate. It is also important to re- 


member that there are a quarter of a million 
Chinese residents in the island, by whom all the 
retail, and part of the wholesale, trade is con- 

Last year the administration of Java was the 
subject of a severe criticism in the Netherlands 
Parliament. The complaints were chiefly directed 
against the conduct of the Achin war, the opium 
monopoly, and the continued interference of the 
Government in the coffee industry. The reply 
of Baron Mackay, the colonial minister at the 
Hague, was in substance as follows : — 

The Achin war, he said, was the result 
of unavoidable circumstances, and neither the 
Colonial nor the Home Government could be 
regarded as responsible for the loss of revenue 
involved in it. He added, however, that 
" excellent results were expected from the 
blockade system " now adopted, and that there 
were already signs that the Atchinese would 
before long be brought to terms. With regard 
to the sale of opium, he assured the States- 
General that " every possible means were being 


taken to reduce the sale of the drug-, and to 
remedy its evil effects." He frankly recognized 
the importance of the question of coffee-culture, 
but at the same time urged the advisability of 
maintaining the system for the present. It was 
not certain, in the first place, that the existing 
system could be changed with advantage ; and, 
in the second, " no product in the immediate 
future could be looked for to replace coffee as 
a source of revenue." 

Undoubtedly the resources of Java are at the 
present time subjected to a heavy strain. On 
the other hand, it must not be forgotten that 
(1) the burden of the Achin war may be at 
any time removed, and (2) all public works are 
being paid for out of current revenue without 
recourse to loans. There is, therefore, no 
reasonable ground for supposing that the 
present financial difficulties of the Colonial 
Government are more than temporary. A 
dance at the balance-sheet of the island for 
the year 1889 shows to what an extent the 
difficulties are due to an increasing sense of 


responsibility towards the natives, and to an 
intention to eventually open all the industries 
of this singularly fertile island to private enter- 

Heads of Revenue and Expenditure for 1889 in 
Million Florins. 



x. aXLo ••• • * • ••• 






Army and navy 


Sale of produce (of this 

Public works (of this 

coffee contributes 37, 

railways cost 10) 


sugar 2) 


Administration, etc. 


Other sources (railways, 

school fees, etc.) 


In round numbers ... 134 130 

When the natives have been educated and 
the industries of the island freed from unnatural 
restrictions, financial and commercial prosperity 
will return to Java. 

( 1 69 ) 



The Tji Wangi bungalow — Coffee plantations — Cinchona — 
Native labour — A wayang — Country-bred ponies — Bob 
and the ducks — Loneliness of a planter's life. 

Horace's remark,* "Those that cross the sea 
change temperature, not temperament," is espe- 
cially true of the Englishman out of England. 
The room in which I was now seated differed 
in scarcely anything from the regulation "den" 
of every Englishman, whether in Scotland or 
Timbuctoo. From the French windows I could 
see smooth lawns and bright flower-beds, while 
beyond appeared the dark green plantations 
surmounted with grey mountain heights. Photo- 
graphic groups and etchings shared the task of 
decorating the walls with riding-gear and Indian 

* " Coelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt," 


knives. The writing-table was strewn with 
photograph-frames of all sorts and sizes. The 
black "boy" who brought tea and whisky and 
Apollinaris, alone gave a hint of " foreign parts." 
The house itself stood 3500 feet above sea-level ; 
but some of the estate (which covered 800 acres) 
rose nearly 1000 feet higher still. At this 
altitude the temperature was never excessively 
hot : at midday it averaged 70° ; certainly it 
never approached the heat of Batavia ; and that 
night I did what I had not done before in Java 
■ — slept with a blanket over me. 

The next morning, two handsome Sandalwood 

ponies were brought round, and H took me 

over the estate. We rode between coffee and 
cinchona plantations on roads of various widths 
cut in zigzags or curves up the mountain sides, 
sometimes with the sun blazing full above us, 
sometimes shaded by the light foliage of the 
albizzias, until we reached a rough stone 
monument which marked the highest point. 
In the higher ranges we sometimes came upon 
a piece of bush with the tall rosamala trees 









• \ 

JSP* 6 * 6 ** 


Page 170. 


still standing ; or caught a glimpse of wide 
plains, bounded in the far-off distance by lofty 

On more than one occasion H stopped to 

talk to the natives. They were engaged in 
weeding — the heaviest work on the plantation, 
since, in the hothouse atmosphere of Java, 
continual labour is required to keep down the 
rapidly growing plants of all kinds, which would 
otherwise impoverish the soil and choke the 
coffee trees. He usually addressed the mandors % 
or native foremen, but once or twice he spoke 
sharply to an idle or careless worker. His 
method, he explained, was to treat them with 
strict justice, but merciless severity : both were 
necessary to secure their respect, adding that 
it was useless for a man who was not respected 
to have anything to do with native labour. 

It was during many such rides, supplemented 
by visits to the factory and long after-dinner 
talks with many different persons, that I learnt 
something of the ins and outs of a planter's life. 

Although the Dutch Government are gradually 


abandoning the "culture" or "Government-plan- 
tation " system, the change is too recent to per- 
mit as yet of the full development of private 
enterprise in the island. Even now there are 
Government plantations in every village, in which 
the natives are compelled to work without wages. 
Of course, it is easy to undersell the planters by 
produce raised on these conditions. In addition 
to the direct Government competition, they 
complained of export duties on their coffee and 
cinchona, and of ad valorem property taxes upon 
their plantations and buildings. Altogether, I 
gathered, the planters considered themselves very 
badly treated ; but they had just formed an asso- 
ciation in order to maintain their interests, and 
to take concerted action against the assistant- 
residents and the officials generally, who some- 
times failed to appreciate the benefit conferred 
upon the country by the making of roads and 
other similar improvements. 

The average size of the Javan coffee planta- 
tions is from 400 to 500 acres. At Tji Wangi 
there were 500 acres laid down in coffee, and 300 


in cinchona. Part of the plantation was new, 

and H had done some clearing since he had 

taken over the estate. He described the pro- 
cess. The first thing to be done was to clear 
the forest. The trees were felled ; the light 
timber — underwood and branches — was removed 
or burnt, but the huge trunks, bare and blackened, 
were left upon the ground. Indeed, I saw many 
such trunks, affording a curious contrast to the 
young plants growing around them. After this, 
he had formed plantations of albizzias (a slight, 
tall tree, with a foliage resembling that of the 
accacia), and planted the young trees, when they 
were sufficiently grown, at intervals upon the 
ground he had just cleared. Finally, the coffee 
trees, which had been grown from seedlings, and 
had remained in the nurseries for a year, were 
planted in rows, six or seven feet apart, under 
the shelter thus provided for them by the albiz- 
zias. The coffee trees do not bear until their 
third year. At the fifth year they reach maturity, 
and then continue in their prime for as long as 
ten or fifteen years. Those grown upon the 


higher, and therefore cooler, ranges will some- 
times remain in first-rate condition for even a 
longer time. 

H gathered a branch to show me the 

berry. It was like an acorn with the cup taken 
off in shape, and of a reddish-brown colour. 
These berries are harvested ordinarily at the 
beginning of the dry monsoon, i.e. in April or 
May. As the coolies are paid in proportion to the 
amount they gather, the whole crop is first of all 
measured. It is then put into a pulping-machine, 
and the husk or outer covering removed. The 
coffee is now said to be in the parchment, i.e. 
the two lobes of the bean are still covered by a 
parchment-like skin, and in this condition the 
bean is washed down into the fermenting-tanks, 
where it remains for thirty-six hours. After a 
final washing, it is dried in the sun in large 
wooden trays running on wheels, or else on 
concrete platforms. Most of the J a van coffee is 
sent off to Europe while it is still in the husk, 
in order that it may present a better appearance 
in the European markets. At Tji Wangi, how- 


ever, the whole work of preparation was done 
on the estate. 

As is well known, the civilized world is indebted 
for its increased supply of quinine to Mr. Charles 
Ledger, the naturalist. In a subsequent chapter 
I have given Mr. Ledger's interesting account 
of the manner in which he succeeded, after 
various adventures, in the course of which oc- 
curred the death of his faithful Indian servant, 
Manuel, in procuring a small quantity of Cinchona 
calisaya seed from Bolivia, part of which was 
sold to the British and part to the Dutch East 
India Governments. It is from the nurseries 
thus formed that the plantations of Java and 
Ceylon were stocked. 

In Java the cinchona is ordinarily grown by 
grafting slips from a hybrid or Ledgeriana of 
known quality on to the Succirnbra stem. The 
succirubra grows fast, but yields only a small 
percentage of quinine ; the hybrid contains from 
ten to sixteen per cent, of sulphate of quinine. 
By this device a combination of quick growth 
and good bearing qualities is obtained, since the 



hybrid thus formed bears as freely as the graft. 
The cinchona crop is harvested whenever it is 
convenient, independently of the seasons, but 
generally at the same time as the coffee. The 
quinine is contained in the bark of the tree. 
The first crop of a plantation consists of branch 
bark. After the plants have been growing for 
about six years, a whole row is taken out. In 
this case the trees are entirely removed not 
' barked ' at all, and the whole of the bark, even 
that of the roots, is utilized. It is separated from 


the wood by beating the stems with sticks or 
wooden hammers. This is done by women, who 
sit in circles round large trays, into which they 
drop the bark as it falls off. It is then left to 
dry, and afterwards collected and placed in long 


wooden troughs, where it is stamped fine with 
heavy wooden stampers. In this condition it is 

packed into round bales. Finally, both coffee 

and cinchona are transported by coolies to the 

nearest railway station. 

It is in respect of labour that the Javan 

planters have an advantage over those of Ceylon. 

At Tji Wangi from 125 to 600 coolies were 

employed according to the season of the year. 

They were paid at the rate of 20, 15, and 10 

cents (or 4^., $d., and 2d.) respectively for a man, 

woman, or child per clay ; the mandors, or 

foremen, however, received from 30 to 40 cents 

per day. Yet so simple and cheap are the 

necessaries of life in Java, that in this district 

a good master has no difficulty in getting 

Javanese or Sundanese natives to work for 

him at this rate of payment, and the plantation 

cooly, in spite of his low wages, manages to enjoy 

his two days' holiday every week in the year. 

H said that the average cost of living per 

head among his coolies was not more than 10 

cents, or 2d., per day. It should be added, how- 



ever, that the rate of wages varies in the different 
residencies. In those in which there are large 
towns, especially in the eastern districts, the 
native workers, both coolies and artisans, are paid 
at a considerably higher rate than they are in the 
Preanger Regencies. 

I have already mentioned the wayang as one 
of the most popular amusements of the natives, 
and I shall have something more to say about 
it in connection with the native literature. At 
Tji Wangi I had an opportunity of witnessing 
this performance in its simplest form, i.e. the 
wayang klitik, in which the puppets are exhibited 
themselves to the audience instead of being made 
to project shadows on a transparent screen. 
Here, as at most plantations, it was customary 
for the weekly market, held after pay-day, to be 
followed by a wayang. 

When I reached the factory I found that the 
wages were being paid. The coolies were 
seated (or rather squatted) on the ground in rows 

inside the coffee-washing shed, while H sat 

at a table, with his manager and foremen stand- 







ing round him. After receiving- their wages, the 
crowd of natives flocked through the factory 
gates to an open space in front of the store- 
house. Here the different itinerant vendors 
had already arranged their goods on stalls or on 
the ground. There were all manner of cottons 
and silks, trinkets and hardwares. In addition 
to these, queer edibles were to be seen — little 
dishes of pickled vegetables and cured fish, fruits 
and cakes, even gold-fish. These latter were 
kept in vessels filled with water, so that the fish 
could be put back into the ponds again if they 
were not sold. 

It was a pretty scene, this crowd of bright- 
coloured humanity. The skin of the Javanese is 
little darker than that of the Italian, and his clothes 
are gloriously picturesque. As usual, the hats, 
jackets, scarfs, and sarongs displayed every shade 
of colour and variety of pattern. The wayang 
did not beo-in until the evening. The chief 
performer, called the dalang, or manager, squatted 
on the ground before two poles of bamboo placed 
horizontally at a height of about three feet, into 


which he stuck the puppets, taking them from 
a box placed by his side. He chanted a long 
legendary tale taken from the ancient Javan 
literature, and dealing with the times before the 
European occupation of the island. At intervals 
he broke into a dialogue, when he worked the 
puppets' arms and legs with wires, so that they 
seemed to be acting their several parts. Behind 
the dalang was a gamelan, or series of gongs 
mounted on a wooden frame much like an ordinary 
couch. These gon^s were struck with wooden 
hammers by other members of the company, and 
thus served as an orchestra. It was interesting 
to observe the deep attention with which the 
audience followed the movements of the puppets, 
and listened to the recitations and dialogue. 

H said they would sit there listening for 

hours, far into the night, without getting tired. 

Owing to the restrictive trade policy of the 
Government, the planters, as a class, are much 
more identified with the native princes than with 
the Dutch officials. In a subsequent chapter I 
shall have occasion to speak of the development 


of horse-racing in Java, and of the support which 
is given to the movement by the native princes. 
At Tji Wangi I was shown a recent importation 
from Sydney — Lonely, who was destined to lower 
the colours of the Regent of Tjandjoer recently 
carried to victory by Thistle, also an Australian 
horse. The stables (like everything else in Java) 
were built of bamboo. They were kept in first- 
rate order. The stalls were occupied chiefly by 
country-bred ponies, the progeny of the native 
races of the neighbouring islands of Sandalwood 

and Timor. H said modestly that his stud 

was a very small one, but that if I would visit 
a Dutch neiehbour I should see a stud of fifteen 
racers, beside brood mares. Race meetings and 
the various social oratherino-s connected with them 
are among the most important resources of the 
planter's life. H 's nearest European neigh- 
bours were seven miles away, and he said that 
he could seldom entertain visitors at Tji Wangi, 
because of the scarcity of game in the neighbour- 
hood. Indeed, the loneliness of the life is its 
great objection. The case of the Dutch planters 


is rather different. They are often married, and> 
with their managers, form quite a little society 
of their own. But an Englishman rarely has the 
courage to bring a wife so far from home. In 
most cases it is the near prospect of returning 
with a fortune which alone makes so isolated an 
existence bearable. 

Under these circumstances, it was not strange 

that H should keep a number of canine 

pets. Among them Bob, an English bulldog, was 
his favourite. He was as good-natured as he 
was ugly, seldom misbehaving, even when 
tempted beyond doggish endurance by the 
proximity of dark skins and waving drapery. 
On one occasion, however, he did give way to 
anger ; but it must be admitted that he had 

provocation. H had some black ducks 

which he had carefully reared to ornament the 
little lake in the garden. One afternoon, when 
Master Bob was taking his siesta in the neiwh- 
bourhood of the kitchen, with his small white 
teeth protruding, after the manner of bulldogs, 
from his black lips, and gleaming in the light, an 


unfortunate duck came by. Seeing the white 
oblong- masses in the region of Bob's mouth, she 
very naturally concluded that they were grains 
of rice left by the careless quadruped. Acting 
upon this theory, she hastily essayed to seize the 
morsel. The impact of her bill upon his nose 
woke Bob in terrible indignation. A short scuffle 
and a plaintive quack, and that duck's career 
was ended. But that was not all. So serious 
did the bulldog consider this insult to his dignity 
that, in spite of repeated castigations, he never 
rested until he had killed the whole of the 
remaining brood of ducks.* 

Bob's predecessor in office had been poisoned 
by a native cook. " But I got her two months," 

H added, "and told my people that I had 

sent for another bulldog from England, and that 
if they poisoned him I should send for six more." 

" But you once told me you had your house 
broken into. How did that happen ? ' : This 

* Whenever I think of Bob and the ducks I remember 
that line of Virgil, in which he tells of Juno's hatred of the 
Trojans—" Sternum servans sub pectore vulnus." 


was in one of our talks in the smoking-room after 



" It wasn't a very exciting business," he replied. 
"All I know was that the money was gone the 
next morning. The night before I was very 
tired and slept soundly ; when I woke up I found 
my despatch-box gone. I summoned my people 
and set them to look for it ; it was found about 
a hundred yards away, with the papers in it, but 
the money gone. About a month afterwards I 
discovered that one of the natives had been 
spending more money than he could account for, 
and, by the help of the native police, I got him 
convicted and sentenced to transportation for 
four years. There were three men concerned, 
but the others escaped through insufficient 
evidence. One of the stable boys had pulled 
up the bolts of the front door, and the thieves 
had quietly walked in, taken the box outside, 
and broken it open. It was a mere accident 
— my putting the money into the despatch-box 
instead of into the safe ; but, of course, I took 
precautions against a repetition of the affair. I 


I8 5 

had my safe fastened into the ground, and the 
two safes at the office were built into the wall, 
as you saw. 

" Now, you see, they know there's always a 
revolver here " — pointing to the desk — " and an- 
other by my bedside at night. There are a couple 
of guns there, but of course they would not be 
any good, although the bowie-knife hanging by 
them would. I always have two dogs in the 
house, one here and one in my bedroom, and 
there are five or six outside." 





Mr. Wallace and the Malay Archipelago — Animals— Birds 
— General characteristics of plants—European flora in 
mountains — Darwin's explanation — Fruits — History of 
cinchona introduction— Mr. Ledger's story — Indiarubber. 

No less than eight years (1854 — 1862) were 
employed by Mr. Wallace, the naturalist, in 
" the study of man and nature " in the Malay 
Archipelago. During this period he collected 
a vast number of specimens of animals and 
plants, and, some years after his return to 
England, gave the results of his travels to the 
world in his " Malay Archipelago." The general 
conclusions which Mr. Wallace was led to form 
are of such interest, that I shall endeavour very 
briefly to lay them before the reader. 

In the first place, the evidence supplied by 


the nature of the distribution of the various 
plants and animals is such as to point to the 
belief that the whole Archipelago is composed 
of fragments of two separate continents. The 
Malay islands must, therefore, be divided into 
two groups. Of these groups the first, roughly- 
consisting of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and the 
Philippines, once formed part of the continent of 
Asia ; while in the second, the Celebes, Flores, 
Timor, the Moluccas, and New Guinea, we have 
fragments of a great Pacific continent, which 
has been gradually and irregularly broken up. 
The inhabitants of the former region, to which 
Mr. Wallace gives the name Inclo-Malayan, 
are Malays ; those of the latter, the Austro- 
Malayan, are Papuans. 

Secondly, the intervening seas, which surround 
the various islands which have now taken the 
place of these former continental tracts, have 
been formed by the subsidence of land from 
which the foundations have been withdrawn 
by the continued activity of a long volcanic 
chain which traverses the Archipelago from 


end to end. And therefore, strange as it may 
seem at first sight, the fertile island of Java, 
with its rich plains and abundant vegetation 
— so unlike the traditional barrenness of a 
volcanic region — is the work of this subterranean 

" The island of Java contains more volcanoes, 
active and extinct, than any other known 
district of equal extent. They are about forty- 
five in number, and many of them exhibit 
most beautiful examples of the volcanic cone 
on a large scale, single or double, with entire 
or truncated summits, and averaging 10,000 
feet high." * 

Thirdly, not only did Sumatra, Java, and 
Borneo once form part of the continent of Asia, 
but the subsidence of land which caused their 
separation from the continent, and from each 
other, is of very recent date — recent, that is, 
in the scale of geological eras. This is shown 
by the fact that the separating seas are so 
shallow that to-day ships can anchor anywhere in 
* " Malay Archipelago." 


them. We shall, therefore, expect a strong- 
similarity, almost amounting - to a complete 
identity, to exist between the animals and plants 
of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo and those of 
Southern India, Burmah, and the Malay 
Peninsular. Such, according to Mr. Wallace, 
is the fact. 

" The elephant and tapir of Sumatra and 
Borneo, the rhinoceros of Sumatra and the 
allied species of Java, the wild cattle of Borneo, 
and the kind long supposed to be peculiar to 
Java, are now all known to inhabit some part or 
other of Southern Asia. . . . Birds and insects 
illustrate the same view, for every family and 
almost every genus of these groups found in 
any of the islands occurs also in the Asiatic 
continent, and in a great number of cases the 
species are exactly identical." 

In addition to the rhinoceros and wild cattle 
mentioned above, the wild animals of Java 
include the jackal, the tiger, and several 
species of monkeys. Snakes and alligators are 
also to be found in the island. There is a 


good supply of domestic animals with the 
exception of sheep. This useful animal was 
so entirely unknown to the natives, that when 
the Dutch attempted to introduce it into the 
island it was necessary to find a name for it. 
It was accordingly called a "Dutch goat;" nor 
is there at the present time any other term 
in the Malay language by which the animal 
can be designated. I have already spoken of 
the utility of the Javan horses. They are im- 
ported in large numbers from the neighbouring 
island of Sandalwood, and great attention is 
being paid to the production of country-breds. 
An attempt is also being made to improve the 
breed by the importation of English and 
Australian thoroughbreds. I was also informed 
that in recent years a number of cattle had 
been introduced from India. As in most 
Eastern countries, the ox is used in Java for 
drawing carts and for other agricultural purposes ; 
but the buffalo is the most valuable of all 
animals to the natives, by whom it is especially 
employed in the cultivation of the ricefields. 


The only dangerous animal is the tiger, and 
the sport of tiger-hunting still forms one of 
the recreations of the native princes. 

The birds of Java are distinguished for their 

variety and for the rich plumage with which they 

are adorned. During a single month passed in 

Ardjoeno, a mountain situated in the regency 

of Paseroean, in the east of the island, Mr. 

Wallace collected ninety-eight species of birds. 

Among these he mentions the Javan peacock, 

of which he obtained two specimens more than 

seven feet long; the jungle fowl (Gallus furcatus); 

the jungle cock [Gallics baukiva), called by the 

natives bekeko ; various species of woodpeckers 

and kingfishers ; a hornbill (Buceros lunatus) more 

than four feet long; and a "pretty little lorikeet 

{Loriculus pusillus) scarcely more than as many 

inches." When he visited the west of the island, 

he found still more valuable specimens in the 

Preanger regencies, twenty miles south of 

Buitenzorgf. Among the mountains of this 

neighbourhood, and at an elevation of 4000 

feet, he collected in a fortnight forty species of 


birds, "almost all of which were peculiar to the 
Javanese fauna." In these were included the 
" elegant yellow-and-green trogon {Harpactes 
Reinwardti) ; the gorgeous little minivet fly- 
catcher (Pericrocotus miniatus), which looks like 
a flame of fire as it flutters among the bushes ; 
and the rare and curious black-and-crimson oriole 
(Analcipus sanguinolentus)." Mr. Wallace also 
speaks of the rare and beautiful butterflies which 
he captured here. In particular he secured a 
specimen of the calliper butterfly, " remarkable 
for having on each hind wing two curved tails 
like a pair of callipers." 

It is in this neighbourhood that the large Javan 
wood-pigeons which I saw at Tji Wangi are to 
be found. As they are excellent eating, they are 
shot by the planters, though it is often difficult 
to get within range of them owing to the height 
of the rosamala trees in which they settle. 

There are certain characteristic developments 
of plant-life which arrest the attention of the 
traveller in Java. 

In the towns he cannot fail to be impressed 


with the large-leaved and gorgeously coloured 
shrubs which surround the houses of the Euro- 
pean residents ; he will notice, too, that the 
streets and open spaces are planted with 
waringin and tamarind trees, and when he 
travels into the interior he will find that the 
roads which traverse the island are still lined 
by the same trees. Of these the former is a 
species of ficus ; the latter, the tamarind, has 
been introduced from Madagascar. Towards 
the end of the year it is covered with orange 
blossoms, which finally develop into a somewhat 
acid fruit. In the country the dwellings of the 
Javan peasants are almost universally surrounded 
by palms, bananas, and bamboos. While the 
palms and bananas supply the native with fruit, 
from the bamboo he has learnt to make number- 
less useful articles, ranging from a house or a 
boat to a drinking- vessel or a musical instrument. 
Cooking-utensils, baskets, hats, and all manner of 
tools are constructed out of the material provided 
by this useful tree. While I was staying at a 
friend's house at Weltevreden I had a singular 



illustration of the variety of uses to which the 
bamboo could be put by observing the method 
of cutting the grass adopted by a native gardener. 
He was squatting on the ground, and had by his 
side about half a dozen sections into which he 
had split some bamboo rods about two feet in 
length. These he rapidly passed over the grass 
backwards and forwards with a semicircular 
sweep, and their sharp edges mowed the grass 
down as cleanly as the blade of a scythe. In 
this way he cleared a space around him, and, 
gradually advancing, eventually trimmed off the 
whole plot of grass. 

The tropical forests, again, are characterized 
by a remarkable uniformity and sombreness 
which gives them an aspect quite unlike that 
of European woods. The vast cylindrical trunks 
of the great forest trees, rising like pillars from 
the midst of ferns and lesser growths, support 
a lofty roof of leaves. Beneath this screen in- 
numerable forms of plant-life develop without 
let or hindrance, and the whole abundant foliage 
is bound into an inextricable mass by parasites 


and creepers. On every side the eye is met by 
one monotonous tone of verdure, for the supremely 
favourable conditions for plant-life which obtains 
tend to produce a total effect, not of variety, but 
of sameness. 

One of the most interesting facts connected 
with the Javan flora is the appearance of Euro- 
pean flowers upon the higher levels of the moun- 
tains. The phenomenon is the more remarkable 
in the face of the consideration that the seeds of 
such flowers are so heavy, and the distance from 
their present habitat so great, as to negative the 
supposition that they have been carried by the 
wind ; nor can their presence be satisfactorily 
referred to the agency of birds. 

At first sight, therefore, the existence of 
flowers such as the violet, the buttercup, and the 
honeysuckle in an island south of the equator, 
and surrounded by vegetation of a totally 
different order, appeared to be so inexplicable 
that the hypothesis of a separate and distinct 
origin was advanced. A more satisfactory 
explanation has, however, been furnished by 


Darwin, which is now generally accepted. Very 
briefly, this is as follows. It is supposed that 
at the time of the glacial epoch the depression 
of temperature was so great as to admit of the 
prevalence in the tropics of forms of plants 
now peculiar to the temperate regions of the 
north. As the heat increased, such plants 
retreated from the tropics, for the most part 
northwards, but not exclusively. Following the 
snow-line, they also climbed to the cool heights 
of the lofty mountains of Central India and of 
Abyssinia, and even crossed the equator. They 
now linger upon the summits of the Javan 
mountains, and furnish by their presence an 
additional proof of the original union of the 
western islands of the Archipelago with the 
continent of Asia. 

During his stay at Buitenzorg, Mr. Wallace 
ascended the mountains Pangerango and Gede. 
He describes this expedition as "by far the 
most interesting incident" of his visit to Java, 
and gives a full account of the various European 
plants which he found growing at different 


altitudes. In particular he mentions the royal 
cowslip (Primula imp erialis), "which is said to 
be found nowhere else in the world but on this 
solitary mountain summit," and the stem of 
which he found sometimes ofrowinsf to a height 
of over three feet. The list of families of 
European plants growing upon Pangerango and 
Gede given by another scientific traveller, Mr. 
Motley, includes, among others, such familiar 
names as the violet, the buttercup, the primula, 
the lily of the valley, the honeysuckle and the 
wood-sorrel. I have already mentioned the fact 
that it is found possible to grow all European 
plants (but not fruits) in the mountain garden 
which is established on the slopes of Gede, and 
which forms part of the Government gardens. 

Of the tropical fruits in general I am inclined 
to think that their excellences have been very 
much over-estimated. There is nothing to equal 
or approach a fine jargonelle pear, a peach, or 
hothouse grapes. The orange, cocoanut, banana, 
and mango are so well known as to need no 
special description. In addition to these, the 


commonest fruit are the pomelo, the mangosteen, 
the duku, the rambutan, and the durian. The 
pomelo is six or seven inches in diameter, with 
a smooth green exterior, not unlike that of a 
water-melon ; the fruit is pink in colour, and 
easily breaks up into sections. It tastes like a 
very dry and rather acid orange, and the peel 
makes an excellent bitter in sherry. The 
rambutan resembles a horse-chestnut in size 
and appearance, except that its shaggy exterior 
is red instead of green. The duku and 
mangosteen, on the other hand, are smooth and 
green, and in other respects resemble a walnut. 
All three, rambutan, duku, and mangosteen, 
provide a gelatinous substance with a delicate 
acid flavour. The durian is as large as a cocoa- 
nut, and its exterior is armed with spikes ; the 
fruit is soft and pulpy, tasting like a custard in 
flavour, but it has a horrible smell, and possesses 
strong laxative qualities. Mr. Wallace devotes 
several pages to a description of its various 
qualities, remarking that " to eat durians is a 
new sensation, worth a voyage to the East to 


experience." Credat Jtidcsus non ego. There is 
also a species of green orange, with a very thin 
skin and fine acid flavour, to be obtained in Java. 

A general view of the products of the island 
has already been given in Junghuhn's table in 
Chapter II., and some of the more important 
have been subsequently described at length. 
Any account of the plants of Java would, 
however, be incomplete without a narrative 
of the introduction of cinchona into the East 

This plant, from the bark of which quinine 
is obtained, is a native of Peru, and for a 
long time the Peruvian Government jealously 
maintained exclusive possession of it. Forty 
years ago, the Dutch Colonial Government 
despatched Haskarl, one of the officials of the 
Buitenzorg gardens, to Peru for the purpose of 
procuring cinchona seed. He succeeded in 
obtaining some seed of a very inferior quality, 
and the plantations produced from it were prac- 
tically useless. In 1866, however, both the British 
and Dutch Indian Governments purchased small 


quantities of seed from Mr. Charles Ledger. 
From this seed the very valuable plantations of 
Java and Ceylon have been propagated. I have 
already described the method of cultivating 
Cinchona Ledgeriana adopted by the planters, 
and how advantage is taken of the extreme 
liability of the cinchona plant to hybridization. 
The manner in which the seed was secured forms 
an interesting episode in the history of scientific 
botany. The story is told by Mr. Ledger in a 
letter to his brother published in the Field of 
Feb. 5, 1 88 1, in which it will be seen that these 
seeds were obtained at the cost of the life of 
Manuel, the naturalist's faithful Indian servant. 

" While engaged in my alpaca enterprise of 
1856, a Bolivian Indian, Manuel Tucra Mamami, 
formerly and afterwards a cinchona bark-cutter, 
was accompanying me with two of his sons. He 
accompanied me in almost all my frequent 
journeys into the interior, and was very useful in 
examining the large quantities of cinchona bark 
and alpaca wool I was constantly purchasing. 
He and his sons were very much attached to me, 


and I placed every confidence in them. Sitting 
round our camp-fire one evening, as was our 
custom after dinner, conversing on all sorts of 
topics, I mentioned what I had read as to Mr. 
Clement R. Markham's mission in search of 
cinchona seeds. Now, Manuel had been with me 
in three of my journeys into the cinchona districts 
of the Yungas of Bolivia, where I had to go 
looking after laggard contractors for delivery of 
bark. It was while conversing on the subject of 
Mr. Markham's journey, and wondering which 
route he would take, etc., that Manuel greatly 
surprised me by saying, ' The gentleman will not 
leave the Yungas in good health if he really 
obtains the rogo plants and seeds.' Manuel was 
always very taciturn and reserved. I said nothing 
at the time, there being some thirty more of my 
Indians sitting round the large fire. The next 
day he reluctantly told me how every stranger on 
entering the Yungas was closely watched un- 
observed by himself ; how several seed-collectors 
had their seed changed ; how their germinating 
power was destroyed by their own guides, 


servants, etc. He also showed me how all the 
Indians most implicitly believe, if, by plants or 
seeds from the Yungas, the cinchonas are success- 
fully propagated in other countries, all their own 
trees will perish. Such, I assure you, is their 
superstition. Although there are no laws pro- 
hibiting the cinchona seed or plants being taken 
out of the country, I have seen private instructions 
from the prefect in La Paz ordering strictest 
vigilance to prevent any person taking seed or 
plants out of the country. More than half a dozen 
times I have had my luggage, bedding, etc., 
searched when coming out of the valley of the 

" You are aware how I am looked upon as a 
doctor by the Indians. Well, one day I said, 
' Manuel, I may some day require some seed and 
flowers of the famous white flower, Rogo 
cascarrilla, as a remedy ; and I shall rely upon 
you not deceiving me in the way you have told 
me.' He merely said, ' Patron, if you ever require 
such seed and flowers, I will not deceive you. 
And I thought no more about it. 


" Manuel was never aware of my requiring 
seed and leaves for propagating purposes ; he was 
always told they were wanted to make a special 
remedy for a special illness. For many years, 
since 1844, I had felt deeply interested in seeing 
Europe, and my own dear country in particular, 
free from being dependent on Peru or Bolivia for 
its supply of life-giving quinine. 'Remembering 
and relying on Manuel's promise tome in 1856, I 
resolved to do all in my power to obtain the very 
best cinchona seed produced in Bolivia. 

" His son Santiago went to Australia with me 
in 1858. In 1 86 1, the day before sending back 
to South America Santiago and the other Indians 
who had accompanied me there as shepherds of 
the alpacas, I bought 200 Spanish dollars, and 
said to him, ' You will give these to your father. 
Tell him I count on his keeping his promise to 
get me forty to fifty pounds of rogo cinchona 
(white flower) seed. He must get it from trees 
we had sat under together when trying to reach 
the Mamore river in 1851 : to meet me at Tacna 
(Peru) by May, 1863. If not bringing pure, ripe 


rogo seed, flowers, and leaves, never to look for 
me again.' 

" I arrived back in Tacna on the 5th of 
January, 1865. I at once sent a message to 
Manuel, informing him of my arrival. At the 
end of May he arrived with his precious seed. 
It is only now, some twenty-four years after poor 
Manuel promised not to deceive me, manifest how 
faithfully and loyally he kept his promise. I say 
poor Manuel, because, as you know, he lost his 
life while trying to get another supply of the 
same class of seed for me in 1872-3. You are 
aware, too, how later on I lost another old Indian 
friend, poor Poli, when bringing seed and flowers 
in 1877. 

" I feel thoroughly convinced in my own mind 
that such astonishingly rich quinine-yielding trees 
as those in Java are not known to exist (in any 
quantity) in Bolivia. These wonderful trees are 
only to be found in the Caupolican district in 
Eastern Yungas. The white flower is specially 
belonging to the cinchona ' rogo ' of Apolo. 

" You will call to mind, no doubt, the very 


great difficulties you had to get this wonderful 
' seed ' looked at, even ; how a part was purchased 
by Mr. Money for account of our East Indian 
Government for ,£50 under condition of 10,000 
germinating. Though 60,000 plants were success- 
fully raised from it by the late Mr. Mclver, I 
only received the ^50. 

" The seed taken by the Netherlands Govern- 
ment cost it barely £^0. 

" Such, then, is the story attaching to the now 
famous Cinchona Ledgeriana, the source of 
untold wealth to Java, Ceylon, and, I hope, to 
India and elsewhere. I am proud to see my 
dream of close on forty years ago is realized ; 
Europe is no longer dependent on Peru or 
Bolivia for its supply of life-giving quinine." 

Before closing this chapter I may mention 
that there is a considerable plantation of gutta- 
percha trees in the horticultural garden at 
Buitenzorg. The best producer of gutta-percha, 
Pelaguium {isonandrd) Gutta, grows nowhere 
on the island naturally, but seeds were obtained 
from two specimens of this plant which had 


been placed in the botanical garden, and the 
plantation was established some years ago at 
the suggestion of Dr. Treub. In view of the 
recent development of electrical engineering and 
the increased demand for indiarubber generally 
which has arisen in the last few years, the fact 
that an unlimited supply of this valuable plant 
can be obtained in Java is one of some importance 
to the commercial world. 

( 207 ) 



Dutch society in the East — Batavian etiquette — English 
residents — Clubs — Harmonie — Concordia — Lawn-tennis 
— Planters — Horse-racing. 

Boston is not the only place in the world which 
has decided upon insufficient evidence that it 
is the centre of the universe. We all of us 
have a weakness for the special form of civiliza- 
tion with which we are most familiar, and to 
discover excellences of character and manners 
essentially identical with those we have been 
taught to associate with a cherished society in 
our own country, in places where we least expect 
them, is part of the discipline of travel. In the 
Dutch over-sea settlements society is more 
exclusive and regulated by a more rigid code 
of etiquette than it is in Holland. Nor will it 


seem strange, when the special conditions of 
Javan life are remembered, that the persons 
composing this society should be indolent, 
luxurious, and imperious. On the other hand, 
an abundance of leisure, and a consciousness of 
racial superiority acquired by habits of command 
exercised for several generations, endow it with 
some of the finer qualities associated with ancient 
society based upon the institution of slavery. 

Nor must we forget that the Dutch are not 
mere "birds of passage" in Java, as is the case 
with the English in India. On the contrary, 
the majority of the Dutch residents are persons 
whose families have been settled in the island 
for many generations, and who look upon Java 
as their home. One has only to look round in 
the streets of Weltevreden to realize the fact 
that Batavia is a colony, not merely a possession. 
From seven to eight in the morning, troops of 
boys and girls are to be seen going to school. 
The little girls are dressed in light materials ; 
they do not wear either hats or bonnets, and 
rarely carry sunshades. The boys wear brown 


holland trousers and jackets, and the military 
cap of a continental school. Although children 
are sent to Holland for social reasons, the climate 
of Java does not require that painful separation 
of parents and children which is one of the 
disagreeable accidents of Indian life. On the 
contrary, the Dutch race appears to have 
developed favourably in Java, and the colonial- 
born women are famous for the beauty of their 
complexions and for the fineness of their 
physique. Another test of the social condition 
of a community is its shops. In Batavia there 
are excellent shops. Not merely can the newest 
books, and the cleverest etchings, and all the 
numberless refinements of Bond Street be 
obtained, but the manners of the tradespeople 
indicate that they are accustomed to deal with 
persons who require to be served promptly, and 
with the best. 

In addition to the native and Chinese popula- 
tion, there are seven thousand Europeans resident 
in Batavia. As most of these latter are persons 
whose various employments allow them a good 



deal of " leisure," there is a corresponding amount 
of social activity. This is regulated by the rules 
of old-fashioned continental society, with such 
innovations as have been rendered necessary or 
merely suggested by the special conditions of 
the place and climate. As the official class is 
the basis upon which Batavian society rests, it 
is not surprising that ceremony should play an 
important part in its system. Among European 
communities in warm countries, a considerable 
licence is generally allowed in the matter of 
dress ; but in Batavia, etiquette requires a man 
to wear a frock coat and white gloves for paying 
a call. Moreover, before a call which is intended 
to initiate an acquaintance can be made, notice 
of the caller's intention, and of the day proposed, 
must first be sent. These formal calls are 
made from seven to eight in the evening, and 
it is not considered polite to leave before the 
hour has expired. During this period iced 
water is handed round in elegant glasses, 
furnished with silver trays and tortoiseshell 
covers. Again, after introduction to an un- 


married lady at a dance, a man is required to 
properly legitimize the acquaintance. In order 
to do this, he must be presented to the parents 
of the lady, if this has not already been done, 
and he is expected also to make the acquaintance 
of such of her relatives as are resident in the 

At the date of my visit (1890), the English 
community in Batavia consisted of fifty or sixty 
men and five ladies. Up to the last ten years 
there has been an English chaplain at Batavia ; 
but there is some difficulty in raising the 
necessary stipend, and so the interesting little 
church is at present deserted. It is only quite 
recently that the English residents have received 
any sort of recognition in Batavian society. 
Now, however, they have succeeded in estab- 
lishing two institutions — a paper-chase (on 
horseback) and a lawn-tennis club, which are 
likely to modify the rigour of its etiquette. 

The Dutch are famous for their clubs. These 
institutions flourish in Java, and in Batavia 
they contribute materially to the social life of 


the place. Among many others, the Societeit 
Harmonie and the Concordia are the most 
considerable. At both of them frequent concerts 
and dances are held. In connection with this 
latter amusement, it was interesting to find 
that all the dancing at Batavia was done on 
marble. I was told that it was not considered 
unpleasant, and that the only wooden floor 
in the island was in the Governor-General's 
palace at Buitenzorg. The Harmonie is a large 
square building, surrounded on two sides with 
porticos and verandahs, standing at the corner 
of Ryswyk. The main entrance leads into 
an extensive hall with white walls and a lofty 
roof supported by ranges of pillars. On the 
marble floor are arranged a number of small 
tables for light refreshments. To the right 
and left of this hall is the billiard-room and 
the reading-room. The former contains some 
twenty or thirty French and English tables ; 
and the latter is well supplied with European 
papers and magazines. The two rooms are 
separated from the hall by light wooden screens, 


which allow the air to circulate freely from one 
to another, and in this way the whole building 
is kept pleasantly cool. The Harmonie was 
founded in 1815 during the British occupation. 
In 1889, shortly before my visit, a dinner was 
held commemorating the foundation of the 
club, and on each menu card an account of 
the event was printed, taken from the British 
Government Gazette published at the time. 
Compared with the Concordia, it is a civilian 
club ; for, although this latter does not by any 
means restrict its membership to officers in 
the forces, the management is entirely in the 
hands of the military, who make the neighbour- 
hood of the Waterloo Plain, where the club 
stands, a sort of military quarter. The Con- 
cordia gives an open-air concert every Saturday 
evening and every alternate Wednesday 

I went to one of the Saturday evening 
concerts, and enjoyed it very much. The air 
was warm and calm, and it was very pleasant 
to sit under the wide-spreading waringin trees 


and gaze up at the twinkling brightness of 
the stars through the screen of leaves. There 
was quite a crowd of members and their 
friends promenading or sitting in easy groups 
round the little iron tables. The kiosks were 
brilliantly lighted, but through the branches 
of the waringin trees the soft radiance of the 
moon could be seen shining upon the dull blue 
vault of the sky. The performance was given 
by the staff band, which never leaves Batavia, 
and is said to be the best in the East Indies. 
I give the programme : — 

i. Fur's Vaterland Marsch . . . C. Millocker. 

2. Wiener Frauen Walzer . . . .J. Strauss. 

3. Ouverture Jelva F. Reisiger. 

4. Gruss aus der Ferne Intermezzo . . J. Verhulst. 

5. Marsch und Chor a. d. Oper. Die Zau- 

berflote W. A. Mozart. 

6. Fantaisie La Reine de Saba . . Ch. Gounod. 


7. Ouverture Die Frau Meisterin . . Fr. v. Suppe. 

8. Die Muhle im Schwarzwald . . R. Eilenberg. 

9. Finale a. d. Oper. Ariele die Tochter 

der Luft E. Bach. 


On Sunday afternoon a military band plays 
in the centre of the Waterloo Plain, and all 
Batavia turns out in carriages or on horseback 
to listen — all Batavia, that is, with the exception 
of the very select few who keep to themselves 
almost entirely, or, if they attend a Concordia 
concert, never leave their carriages. This select 
few includes the highest officials and their 
families, personages such as the general and 
admiral, and the members of the East India 
Council. There is an interesting fact in con- 
nection with the admiral that recalls the time 
when the supremacy of the sea was the pride 
of the Dutch nation. The Governor-General, 
the general of the forces, and the admiral of 
the fleet all enjoy the title of " Excellency," 
while they reside in Java ; but, whereas the two 
former cease to be entitled to it when their 
term of command is over, the admiral is " his 
Excellency " to the end of his days. 

As I mentioned before, the strictness of 
Batavian etiquette is likely to be modified by 
the introduction of a pastime so essentially 


English as lawn-tennis. The courts of the 
Bataviasche Lawn-tennis Club are in the Zoo- 
logical Gardens, south of the King's Plain. The 
club holds numerous tournaments in the course 
of the year, and competitions are established for 
both a ladies' and gentlemen's championship. 
The great majority of the men who play are 
English, but the ladies are, from the small 
number of English women in Batavia, almost 
exclusively Dutch. The holder of the champion- 
ship of Batavia, and the secretary of the club, in 
1890, was an Englishman, Mr. R. L. Burt. In 
addition to this club, the old Batavia cricket 
club, which has an excellent ground on the 
King's Plain, has been practically converted 
into a men's lawn-tennis club. I was told that 
as many as six double courts were to be seen in 
full play on ladies' days at this club. So that it 
would appear that the Dutch ladies, at all events, 
have taken very kindly to lawn-tennis. 

The style of living in Batavia is very similar 
to that of European society in India. The 
cheapness of labour and consequent number of 


servants give a certain air of luxury to even 
moderate establishments. The Malay cooks are 
particularly skilful in the matter of curreys, and 
in a good house a "rice-table" is a thing to be 
remembered. The neatness and quickness of 
the natives generally make them very suitable 
for the duties of domestic and body servants. 
A Batavian dinner is served at a late hour in 
a lofty and spacious apartment, which is one of 
a series of chambers through which the air freely 
circulates from the front to the back of the house. 
From this room the outside world is excluded 
only by partially drawn blinds, and through the 
open windows the perfumes of flowers or the 
sounds of music are borne in upon the guests. 
After dinner the party return to the portico in 
the front, which is almost as completely furnished 
as an inside room, and the rest of the evening is 
spent practically in the open air. 

Beside the officials who are scattered over 
Java and the Dutch possessions in the East, the 
planters form an important element in the social 
life of the island. They are by no means ex- 


clusively Dutch, but the class includes a con- 
siderable number of Englishmen. Such men 
are usually drawn from the higher classes in 
Holland or in England, and are fairly wealthy 
and refined. Like the sheep farmers of Aus- 
tralia, they are exceedingly hospitable, and their 
bungalows are often convenient and even 
luxurious. Often, too, these latter are set in the 
midst of mountain scenery, and surrounded by 
charming gardens. 

The planters are the representatives of the 
principle of free commerce, and the natural 
opponents of the official class. Everywhere 
among them complaints are heard of the 
prejudice displayed against private enterprise, 
and of unnecessary obstacles placed in their 
way by the controleurs and assistant-residents. 
As I have already mentioned, a planters' union 
has lately been established for the purpose of 
protecting the planting interests. It meets at 
Soekaboemi, and it is hoped that, by means of 
concerted action, such grievances will be brought 
more effectively before the Government. After 


all, the planters are the real producers of the 
island, and their importance increases every 
year in proportion as the area of Government 
plantations is reduced. In many respects the 
planters are allied with the native princes. To 
a large extent the two classes lead the same life 
and share the same pursuits. They are both 
brought into close connection with the natives, 
and they both find their chief recreation in 
various forms of sport. 

Horse-racing in particular has of late years 
developed very considerably. The principal 
meetings are held at Buitenzorg and at Bandong, 
the former in June and September, the latter in 
July. At Bandong the native princes turn out 
in force, and the native population hold a carnival 
in the town. One of the greatest patrons of the 
turf is the Regent of Tjandjoer. At the time 
of my visit he was the owner of the premier 
horse in the island — Thistle, whose sire was 
Teviot of West Australia. The planters round 
Soekaboemi are also among the principal sup- 
porters of horse-racing in Java. 


In Java, as elsewhere, they had a grievance. 
It was said that the owners of bio- studs of 
country-breds dominated the arrangements for 
events, and that the programmes were made up 
in favour of such native-bred horses to the 
exclusion of imported stock. Such a policy was 
regarded as unfavourable to the best interests 
of horse-racing in Java, since, instead of en- 
couraging the importation of thoroughbreds from 
Australia and Europe, it tends to perpetuate the 
native race. The country-bred horse is un- 
doubtedly a handsome-looking animal, but he 
exhibits a tendency to become weedy and razor- 
chested, and fails to carry a heavy weight from 
deficiency of bone. It is also found that the 
progeny of imported stock decline in quality 
both in size and stamina. This is the joint effect 
of climate and inferior food. Horses are trained 
merely on fresh grass and paddy (i.e. the ear and 
part of the stalk of the rice plant). Bandaging, 
I was told, was almost unknown ; at the same 
time the animals were generally sound in feet 
and legs. 


The average height of the country-bred horse 
is 14*3 to 15 hands ; and good time over a mile 
is between 1 min. 52 sec. and 1 min. 55 sec, carry- 
ing at the rate of 75 lbs. (Dutch) for 4 feet, and 
one pound for every quarter of an inch in advance. 
In other words, a fifteen-hand horse carries about 
nine stone. There is no system of handicapping, 
but horses carry weight for inches ; so that a 
horse may defeat a rival any number of times 
without effecting a change in the weights, and a 
known winner carries less weight than his de- 
feated rival if the latter is an inch or two above 

There are no recognized steeplechases, but 
generally one or two events at each meeting are 
reserved for gentlemen riders, and private matches 
are sometimes arranged. In 1888 the commandant 
at Buitenzorg offered a prize for a cross-country 
race for the purpose of encouraging riding among 
the officers. The event, however, was won by 
an English planter. 

The Buitenzorg meetings are attended by all 
the best people in the island, and on the first 


day the Governor-General appears in state. The 
racing is fixed for the morning, and lasts from nine 
to twelve. It is a rather curious fact that in Java 
the starter has discarded the universal red flag, 
and waves a Dutch tricolour instead. 




The Hindu Javanese literature concerned with the past — 
Javanese alphabet — Extent of Javanese works — Kavi 
dialect — Krama and Ngoko — The Mahabharata and the 
Ramayana in Kavi — Native Kavi works — The Arjuna 
Vivaya — The Bharata Yuddha — Episode of Salya and 
Satiavati — Ethical poems — The Paniti Sastra — Locali- 
zation of Hindu mythology in Java. 

The literature of a country reflects its life, but 
under certain conditions. The literature of Java 
is mainly, but not entirely, concerned with the 
distant past, when the quiet tide of Eastern life 
had received as yet no disturbing impulse from 
the stream of Mohammedan and European con- 
quest. This Hindu Javanese literature tells us 
of a people far advanced in the essentials of 
civilization, and reveals the existence of a social 
system which, though undoubtedly primitive, was 


at the same time complete and homogeneous. 
From the date of the Mohammedan conquest 
onwards, that is to say, for the last four centuries, 
the national life has been directed by alien forces. 
During this period but little or nothing has been 
added to the literature of the country, since the 
fresh ideas which have been introduced have 
come from Mohammedan conquerors, who were 
themselves provided with a sufficient medium of 
expression, and one which they sought, as a 
matter of policy, to impress upon the subject 
races of the island. Beyond enlightening us 
upon the social system prevalent many hundred 
years ago, it would seem that a knowledge of 
their literature could contribute but slightly to- 
wards a comprehension of the Javanese. This 
opinion, however, is modified by the fact that the 
Kavi literature has been popularized by trans- 
lation into modern Javanese, and that the mass 
of the population are still acquainted with its 
main features by means of these versions accom- 
panied by the representations of the theatre and 
the wayang. The ideals of conduct conveyed in 


these epics, romances, legends, and ethical treatises 
will, therefore, be those with which the Javanese 
are still familiar, and presumably such as still 
enlist their sympathies. Besides this general 
insight into native methods of thought, there 
are also certain features of their life and of their 
present relationship to their European conquerors 
upon which interesting lights are thrown by an 
acquaintance with the traditions and beliefs en- 
shrined in the ancient literature. 

The Javan alphabet, according to the native 
idea, consists of only twenty consonants. But as 
a matter of fact, each of these consonants is 
credited with an inherent vowel sound of a 
(often written 6) as in water; and there are 
five vowel signs which are attached to the 
consonants, and so vary the inherent a. There 
are also twenty auxiliary consonant forms, corre- 
sponding to the original twenty consonants, 
which are used in all combinations of consonants. 
Even this does not exhaust the list, for there 
still remain a number of double letters, while 
modifications of the letters of the alphabet are 



employed for numbers. Speaking of this alpha- 
bet as a whole, Crawfurd says * that it reaches 
perfection, since " it expresses every sound in 
the language, and every sound invariably with 
the same character, which never expresses but 
one." He concludes, " In splendour or elegance 
the alphabet of the Arabs and Persians is 
probably superior to that of the Javanese; but 
the latter, it may be safely asserted, surpasses in 
beauty and neatness all other written characters." 
Some idea of the extent of the Javanese litera- 
ture may be gained from the fact that M. Vreede's 
recently issued account of the Javanese manu- 
scripts in the Leiden University Library f gives 
the names of some five hundred manuscripts, 
containing no less than one hundred and fifty 
separate works. And — to come nearer home — 
the collection of the Royal Asiatic Society con- 
tains as many as forty-four Javanese manuscripts, 
for which the society is mainly indebted to the 

* " Indian Archipelago." 

f " Catalogus van de Javaansche en Madoereesche Hand- 
schriften der Leidsche Universiteits-Bibliotheek door A. C. 
Vreede. Leiden : 1892." 


generosity of Lady Raffles. No little interest 
and learning have been displayed by continental 
scholars in the study of these works; but, unfortu- 
nately, their valuable treatises, written in German, 
French, and Dutch, are not easily accessible to 
English readers. In order to find an account of 
the Javanese literature in English, we have to go 
back more than half a century to the works of 
Raffles and Crawfurd. Fortunately, the former 
has enriched his "History" with unusually full 
and interesting extracts from Javanese works. 
But since Raffles was in Java immense advances 
have been made, not only in our general know- 
ledge of oriental languages, but especially in the 
interpretation of literature by means of anti- 
quarian remains. It is not that his account is 
rendered worthless by these recent researches. 
On the contrary, in this latest work, Vreede's 
" Catalogue," we find frequent quotations from 
Raffles' appendices. At the same time, when we 
see how much he achieved with his inadequate 
materials, it is difficult to suppress a feeling of 
regret that the fuller information, which is avail- 


able to-day, was not at the disposal of the author 
of a " History of Java." As I have embodied in 
the text some extracts from Raffles' translations, 
it may be well to say a word as to the value of 
these versions. What Vreede says of a particular 
passage is true of these renderings in general : 
" They are not literal translations, but the spirit 
of the work is well rendered." 

In the present chapter we are concerned only 
with those Hindu Javanese works which are 
properly entitled to be classed as " literature." 
They are written in the Kavi or literary lan- 
guage. The term " Kavi " means the language 
of poetry, and this dialect is composed, to a 
great extent, of words of Sanscrit origin. 
Although the knowledge of Kavi was gradually 
lost after the Hindu supremacy was over- 
thrown by the Mohammedans, modern Java- 
nese contains but few Arabic words, especially 
differing in this respect from Malay. Two forms 
of modern Javanese are employed in everyday 
speech. First, the language of ceremony, called 
Krama ; and, secondly, the common speech, or 


Ngoko (meaning literally the thou-ing speech). 
The Krama contains a considerable number of 
words derived from Sanscrit and introduced 
through the Kavi, and an admixture of Malay. 
It is used by the peasants and artisans in ad- 
dressing the native princes. The Ngoko is 
spoken by the common people among themselves, 
and by the native princes in communication with 
their inferiors. The existence of this double 
language explains the fact (of which I have 
already spoken) that the Dutch have established 
Malay, and not Javanese or Sundanese, as the 
medium of communication between Europeans 
and natives. 

The modified Hinduism which existed at 
the epoch of the Mohammedan conquest (1400- 
1500, a.d.) retreated very gradually in an easterly 
direction before the new religion. At the end 
of the eighteenth century there were still Hindus 
in Java, and to-day the ancient religion lingers 
in Bali, a small island off the south-eastern 
coast. In Bali, therefore, it is natural that we 
should find the fullest remains of such parts of 


the Kavi literature as are most closely identified 
with that of Continental India. Only fragments 
of the two great Indian epics, the Mahabharata, 
or "Great War of the Sons of King Bharata," and 
the Ramayana, or " Adventures of Rama," are 
found in Java ; but in Bali Kavi versions of both 
appear. Neither of these versions, however ; 
bears the Indian title of the original work. The 
Mahabharata, which, with its 220,000 lines, is the 
longest epic in the world, and which Sir Monier 
Williams calls "a vast cyclopaedia of Hindu 
mythology," is known as " the Parvas." Of the 
eighteen parvans, or divisions, of the original, 
eight only are in existence in the Kavi version. 
Of these the first, Adiparva, is the best preserved, 
says Dr. Van der Tuuk ; " but this also," he 
adds, " abounds in blunders, and especially the 
proper names have been so altered from their 
Indian originals as to be hardly recognizable."* 
As the name "War of the Bharatas" is applicable, 
strictly speaking, to only one-fifth part of the 
whole poem, it is probable that the great epic 

* In the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, xiii. N.S. 1881. 


was not yet known under this title at the time 
when it was transported from India to Java. 

The Ramayana appears in a slightly changed 
form in the Kavi version. The original Indian 
epic is divided into seven Kandas, or volumes, 
which are again subdivided into chapters. The 
Kavi version, entitled " the Kandas," contains 
the narrative of the first six Kandas. The 
seventh, the Uttara-Kanda, or supplementary 
volume, which gives an account of the de- 
scendants of Rama after his death, appears in 
the Kavi as an entirely separate work. It 
would appear, therefore, that neither of the two 
Indian epics had reached their final form when 
they were carried by Hindu colonists to Java. 
That part of the Mahabharata which afterwards 
gave the poem its distinctive title had not yet 
been written, or at least added to the central 
myth ; and the Ramayana then contained only 
the history of Rama. Both poems appear, 
however, to have acquired a reputation for 
unusual sanctity. In Java and Bali both " the 
Kandas " and " the Parvas " are used as 


synonymous terms, and mean " the Sacred 

The difference between the Kavi and Indian 
versions of these epics seems to afford additional 
evidence — if any such were needed — that neither 
the Mahabharata nor the Ramayana is the 
work of a single mind, but that both are a 
collection or compilation of myths. 

It is noticeable also that, in spite of the love 
of dramatic representation manifested so uni- 
versally among the Javanese, the Indian dramas 
were not transplanted to Java. Dr. Friederich * 
offers an explanation of this. " Most of the 
Indian dramas," he says, " are of late times, 
and perhaps, at the time the Brahmans came 
to Java, were exclusively found at the courts of 
the princes." 

We come now to the consideration of what 
may be called, by contradistinction to the direct 
versions of the Indian epics, the native Kavi 
works. The character of these poems — for all 
the Kavi literature is alike written in metre — is 
* In the Journal of R. A. S. vii. N.S. 


in the main mythological and romantic ; but there 
are also to be found among them certain ethical 
and religious works. Although the subjects, the 
heroes, and even the metre in many cases, are 
still Indian, these subjects and heroes have been 
so completely identified with the local life that 
the poems are essentially Javanese. 

Of the native Kavi works the " Arjuna Vivaya," 
which gives an account of the ascent of Arjuna 
to Indra, and of his love for the nymph Urvasi, 
deserves to stand first from the purity of the 
dialect in which it is composed. The Indian 
hero Arjuna, the son of Pandu, who is called 
by Sir Monier Williams, " the real hero of the 
Mahabharata," was adopted by the Javanese, and 
his name was given to one of their mountains. 
The metre of the poem is Indian in form, and 
not Javanese, and the date of its composition is 
fixed by Professor Kern in his " Kawistudien" as 
the first half of the eleventh century of our era. 
The fact that it contains but slight traces ' of 
Buddhistic thought is important as giving some 
hint of the date at which Buddhism was intro- 


duced in the island. In this respect it differs 
from the " Arjuna Vijaya," a later poem cele- 
brating the triumph of the same hero over 
Ravan, the demon king of Ceylon. 

The " Bharata Yuddha," or war of the Bharatas, 
is so closely connected with the sacred Parvas, that 
it is generally placed by the Javanese at the head 
of the native Kavi works. It is esteemed the 
greatest work in the Javanese literature, but it 
yields in point of antiquity to the "Arjuna Vivaya." 
Its language also is less pure, and contains a 
certain admixture of ordinary high Javanese or 
Krama. A definite date (i 195, a.d.) is assigned 
to it, and the name of its author is said to be 
Hempu, or M'pu, S'dah. The subject of the 
poem is identical with that of four of the 
parvans of the Mahabharata, but the scene is 
changed from India to Java. It contains an 
account of the struggle between the Pandavas, 
or five sons of Pandu, and the Kauravas, or 
hundred sons of Dhritavashtra, in which the 
latter are ultimately defeated in their attempt 
to obtain the kingdom of Neastina. The scene 


is laid in the plains around the city Ngastina, 
or in the city itself. The poem opens with the 
following lines : — * 

" In war 'tis the prayer of the brave to annihilate the foe ; 
To see the braids of fallen chiefs scattered like flowers before 

the wind ; 
To rend their garments, and burn alike their altars and their 

palaces ; 
Boldly to strike off their heads while seated in their chariots, 

and thus to obtain renown." 

The episode of King Salya, one of the Kaurava 
princes, and Satiavati, his queen, is singularly 
romantic, and reveals a high ideal of wifely 
devotion. The poem relates how Salya steals 
away from his wife, and sacrifices himself on 
the field of battle. Then Satiavati wanders 
over this same field of battle by night in quest 
of his corpse. A flash of lightning is sent to 
direct her steps, and when she has found the 
body of her husband, she addresses the corpse 
in a speech in which she declares her intention 
of following his spirit. 

* I am indebted for this and the subsequent versions in the 
text to Raffles' " History of Java." 


" But earth has lost its fleeting charms for me 
And, happy spirit, I will follow thee." 

She continues — 

" Though vvidadaris * should obey thy call 
Reserve for me a place above them all," 

and finally stabs herself. 

To her faithful maid Sagandika she says— 

" Tell them to think of Satiavati's fate, 
And oft the story of her love relate." 

But Sagandika also kills herself. 

" Then did their happy spirits wing their way 
To the fair regions of eternal day." 

I conclude the episode by a quotation from 
the prose rendering given by Raffles, which 
keeps more exactly to the original, and gives a 
characteristically Eastern picture of heaven. 

" The astonished spirit of Prince Salya quickly 
said — 

" ' Uneasy and impatient have I waited for thee 
among the clouds, with many widadaris, panditas, 
and diwas.' 

" Having taken the princess in his arms, he 

* Angels. 


returns with her by the road which leads to 

" There arrived, they find it extremely beautiful. 

" Of silk were the houses, and brilliant were the 
precious stones. 

" Amusing herself, the princess was delighted 
with the abundance of food which was there. 

" Great being the bounty of the Almighty to 
mankind. And there was no difference sus- 
ceptible in the ages of those that were there." 

I have already mentioned that among the 
Kavi poems are contained various ethical works. 
Of these the " Paniti Sastra," or Manual of 
Wisdom, will serve as an example. Raffles, in 
his account of this work, says that it contains 
one hundred and twenty-three stanzas, and that 
it is said to be contemporary with the Bharata 
Yuddha. Vreede, in his " Catalogue," says in 
a note,* " Winter mentions the ' Niti Sastra 
Kawi,' and as its author Prabu Vidayaka, in the 
time of Aji Saka." As Saka was the commence- 
ment of all things in Java, to refer the work to 

* Page 262. 


the time of Aji Saka, is practically to say that 
it is of unknown antiquity. It belongs to the 
second class of Tuturs, or sacred writings, i.e. 
those which were not kept secret by the priests, 
but which might be read by other castes beside 
the Brahmans ; and there are several versions 
and translations of it in modern Javanese. The 
following lines are taken from the Kavi text 
of this work : — 

"As the suraya flower floats in the water, 
so does the heart exist in a pure body ; but 
let it not be forgotten that the root of the 
flower holds to the ground, and that the heart 
of man depends upon his conduct in life. 

" As the moon and the stars shed their ligfht 
by night, and the sun giveth light by day, so 
should the sayings of a wise man enlighten all 
around him. 

" Deprive not another of the credit which is due 
to him, nor lower him in the opinion of the 
world ; for the sun, when he approaches near 
the moon, in depriving her of her light, adds 
nothing to his own lustre." 


There is a modern Javanese version of the 
" Niti Sastra," of which the following passages 
are specimens : — 

" A man who is ignorant of the sacred 
writings, is as one who has lost his speech ; 
for when these become the conversation of other 
men, he will be under the necessity of remaining 

" No man can be called good or bad until his 
actions prove him so. 

" It is well known that a man cannot take the 
goods of this world with him to the grave, and 
that man, after this life, is punished with heaven 
or hell, according to the merits of his actions in 
this life : a man's duty, therefore, requires him 
to remember that he must die ; and if he has 
been merciful and liberal in this life to the poor, 
he will be rewarded hereafter." 

One and the same principle governs the 
composition of the mythological and romantic 
literature of the Hindu epoch, and that of those 
somewhat similar works in modern Javanese 
composed after the Mohammedan conquest. 


The authors of both alike set one main object 
before them — to exalt the reigning princes by 
identifying them with the heroes or princes of 
an anterior epoch ; only in the case of the 
Kavi poems, this anterior epoch is fixed in the 
cloud-land of Hindu mythology, while after the 
Mohammedan conquest it becomes merely the 
preceding era of the Hindu supremacy in Java, 
which is used as a ladder by which the Hindu 
cloud-land may be reached. But the nature of 
the babads, or chronicles, the medium by which 
this object was subsequently effected, and the 
interesting question of their historical value, are 
subjects which I must reserve for the succeeding 

( 241 ) 



Uncertainty about the history of the Hindu kingdoms given 
by the chronicles — Character of the babad, or chronicle — 
Its historical value — Brumund's treatment of the babads — 
Account of the babad " Mangku Nagara " — Prose work?. 
— The Niti Praja — The Surya Ngalam — Romances — 
The Johar Manikam— Dramatic works — The Panjis — 
Wayang plays — Arabic works and influence — The theatre 
— The wayang. 

The works of the Mohammedan Javanese period 
include, in addition to translations and versions 
of all kinds both from the Kavi literature and 
the Arabic, romances, dramatic works, and plays, 
intended both for the theatre and the wayang, 
ethical and legal compilations, and, lastly, the 
babads, or chronicles. It will be convenient to 
consider these latter first ; but before doing so 
it is necessary to revert for a moment to the 
historical account which I gave in my opening 



chapter. It will be remembered that in that 
account the two Hindu kingdoms of Pajajaran 
and Majapahit, respectively founded in the west 
and east of the island, were mentioned as being 
especially celebrated in the native chronicles. 
These chronicles, it is true, give us the names 
and dates of various earlier kingdoms, and a 
variety of information about their respective 
dynasties ; but for all practical purposes the 
history of the Hindu period, as at present 
revealed, may be summed up in a sentence of 
Crawfurd. From the latter part of the twelfth 
century to the overthrow of Majapahit (1478), 
" a number of independent states existed in 
Java, and the religion of the people was a 
modified Hinduism." Antiquarian research fur- 
ther tells us that this series of Hindu states 
commenced in the centre of the island, and 
that it was closed by the western kingdom of 
Pajajaran, which existed as early as the first 
half of the eleventh century, and the eastern 
kino-dom of Majapahit, which was itself succeeded 
by the first Mohammedan empire of Demak. 


Remains of the capital cities of both these 
Hindu kingdoms are in existence. Those of 
Pajajaran, which are to be found forty miles 
from Batavia, are exceedingly meagre, and appear 
to be the work of a primitive epoch. Those of 
Majapahit, close by Soerabaia, are numerous and 

But the chronicles which make these kingdoms 
the subject of their narratives were not composed 
until the Mohammedan period was well advanced ; 
or, at least, if they had a previous existence, they 
were then remodelled under the direction of the 
susunans, or emperors. They have, therefore, 
to be regarded with considerable suspicion. 
In the case of the chronicles which relate 
contemporary events, we are on surer ground. 
But such is the nature of the Javanese, and 
such the literary character of the babad, that 
even here we are by no means certain to meet 
with actual facts. 

The babad is a poem composed in a common 
Javanese measure, which purports to give an 
account of historical persons and events. Some- 

244 A VIS1T T0 JAVA. 

times it relates the fortunes of empires ; some- 
times it degenerates into a mere genealogical 
tree. Every Javan "prince" has his "babad," 
in which the names of his ancestors and their 
deeds are recounted. Remembering the fertility 
of the Eastern imagination, and the despotic cha- 
racter of Eastern rulers, it is easy to understand 
that such babads were more often than not 
reduced in point of veracity to the standard of 
an average fairy tale. M. Brumund, whose 
remarks on this subject are embodied 'in 
Leemans' work on the Boro-Boedoer temple, 
deals very severely with the babads. He cannot 
away with them, and goes near to denying their 
claims for credence altogether. But surely a 
distinction should be made between the family 
babad, which is altered to suit the whims of a 
single prince, and those babads which relate 
events affecting the interests of several competing 
princes, or in which no single prince is especially 
interested. The Homeric poems, we are told, 
were kept reasonably free from interpolations by 
the jealousy of the various Hellenic communities. 


May not an influence of the same kind have 
operated in Java, and have preserved some of 
these chronicles from corruption ? 

That the babad is capable of being approached 
from two different points of view is apparent from 
the following extracts, in which I have compared 
M. Brumund's treatment of a babad of only fifty 
years ago with Mr. Nieman's account of an 
earlier babad in the possession of the Royal 
Asiatic Society. 

M. Brumund says — 

" Let us take, for example, Dhipa Negoro, 
the chief of the revolt in Java, which lasted until 
1830; well, the babad represents him to us 
as enveloped in the clouds of the supernatural. 
There he is, surrounded by hundreds of enemies ; 
he is about to be captured, but he calls to his 
aid the miraculous power which is at his disposal, 
and this power causes him to pass freely, safe 
and sound, through the threatening host, who 
suffer him to pass in their amazement, and 
who dare not even lift a finger against him. 
Another day he gives orders to have some 


cocoa-nut trees felled, and to have them covered 
with a white flag ; he sets himself to pray, the 
flag" is removed, and behold, the cocoa-nut trees 
are changed into pieces of artillery of the finest 
casting. He needs counsel ; forthwith he is 
carried through the air to the southern shore 
and to the great spirit of the south, only to 
return forthwith after the conference. He 
wishes to pray at Mecca ; scarcely has he 
formed the wish before his person is found 
upon the borders of the city, and, as a proof 
that he has really been there, he carries off a 
cake from the sacred city, all smoking hot." 

Mangku Nagara, who is the subject of the 
babad discussed by Mr. Nieman, was a Javan 
prince who played a leading part, first in the 
Chinese war of 1745, and afterwards in the 
revolt of the Javan princes against the Dutch 
and the reigning susunan, known as " the Java 
war," which lasted from the close of the Chinese 
war to the year 1758. In the latter he fought 
for some time in alliance with Mangku Bumi, 
a younger brother of the susunan. After a 


time, however, this personage made terms with 
the Dutch on his own account, and Mangku 
Nagara, thus deserted, was compelled to submit 
to the susunan, and accept a modified territory 
for his administration. It was in this war that 
the Dutch obtained the deed of abdication 
mentioned in Chapter L from the Susunan Paku- 
buona II., in the year 1849. The conduct of 
the war cost the company more than four million 
florins, but at its termination they had secured 
the virtual control of the island. 

Mr. Nieman first gives some particulars about 
the manuscript.* It is entitled, he says, the 
" Babad Mangku Nagara." Its date is 1802 ; 
it is written in metre ; its language is modern 
Javanese, but it contains some Kavi words, 
and one whole passage is written in the literary 
dialect. He then continues — 

" Mangku Nagara is always depicted, not only 

as a brave and valiant, but also as a very 

religious man. His soldiers, and those of 

Mangku Bumi, who was at one time his ally, 

* Journal of the R. A. S. xx. 1863. 


were steady adherents of the rites of Islam, so 
far as they were enabled to observe them, such 
as ablutions, prayer, the fast of Ramadan, and 
other practices of the Moslem. His confidence 
in the power of Allah, and his submission to 
his will when in distress, are praised, and his 
character is contrasted with that of the cruel 
Mangku Bumi, who put two of his wives to 
death for the most trifling offences, such as 
necdectinor- to offer him his coffee. Mangku 
Nagara, on the contrary, is described as greatly 
attached to his wives and children, carefully 
providing for their safety, and visiting them at 
their places of concealment, whenever he could 
snatch a temporary interval from his duties as 
a warrior. Attachment to his family, and at- 
tention to religious observances, seem to have 
been thought quite compatible with a strong 
attachment to the sex generally ; we find him 
at the village of Zamenang, engaged for two 
months in copying the Koran and other religious 
works, and yet frequently amusing himself with 
the Bedaya, or dancing girls, from whom he 


was unable to separate himself in his retirement. 
Mangku Bumi had the impudence to deprive 
him of two of these women, whom he had 
previously presented to him as a mark of kind- 
ness ; and, although he subsequently restored 
one of them to Mangku Nagara, the prince 
could not pardon the offence. The one that 
Mangku Bumi did not restore appears to have 
been especially a favourite of Mangku Nagara, 
whose grief and resentment were aggravated by 
some other offences ; and the Dutch Governor of 
Samarang took advantage of this disposition to 
uree him to forsake the cause of Mangku Bumi. 
His efforts were at first successful, and Mangku 
Nagara made peace with the Dutch, and declared 
war against Mano-ku Bumi : but this state of 
things did not continue long. War soon re- 
commenced between the Dutch and Mangku 
Nagara, from some cause which does not fully 
appear. It is believed that the latter was unable 
to prevent his adherents from quarrelling with 
and attacking the Dutch ; but the fact is, the 
Mangku Bumi, finding himself unable to resist 


the united forces of Mangku Nagara and of 
the Dutch, found means to effect a reconciliation 
with the latter, and by their mediation received 
from the Susunan Zaku Buwana nearly a half 
of the Empire of Mataram, assumed the title 
of Sultan, and fixed his residence at Jotjokarta, 
the susunan residing at Solo, or Surakarta. This 
division of the empire took place in a.d. 1755. 
From this epoch the power of the unfortunate 
Mangku Nagara declined. Mano-ku Bumi made 
common cause with the Dutch and the susunan 
against him, and the desertion of several of 
his adherents, who now joined his relentless 
enemies, left him no rest. He was hunted from 
place to place like a wild beast, until he resolved, 
in his despair, to fall upon his numerous foes, 
in the persuasion that he should perish in the 
strife. Forty of his bravest friends joined in 
this resolution ; their example encouraged the 
few troops who remained with him; they attacked 
their enemies with desperate courage, and un- 
expectedly gained a great victory. The Dutch 
were wholly defeated ; nearly a hundred of them 


were left dead on the field of battle ; and, better 
than all, his brave and indefatigable enemy, 
Van der Zoll, the Dutch commander, perished 
in the fight. Mangku Nagara's success, however, 
was not permanent; he was defeated in the 
next battle, and, although the war continued 
with varying success, sometimes to the advantage 
of one side, and sometimes of the other, his 
cause gradually declined. It was a guerilla 
war; Mangku Nagara was now flying to the 
mountains of Kerdenz, and now issuing forth 
to fall upon and harass his enemies ; but upon 
the whole his losses were predominant, and the 
manuscript ends with an account of the peace 
he was compelled to submit to, and the conditions 
on which it was concluded. All this may be read 
in Raffles' " History." 

The existence of such babads as this of Mangku 
Nagara would seem to point to. the conclusion 
that a consecutive and reliable account of the 
Hindu period could be produced by careful sifting 
and comparison of the various babads dealing 
with this epoch. For this purpose they require to 


be examined by the methods of scientific history, 
and the results thus obtained must be checked 
by the faithful records of the antiquarian remains. 

Among- the prose works in modern Javanese, 
two, the " Niti Praja " and the " Surya Ngalam," 
are especially interesting as throwing light upon 
Javanese customs and thought. The former is 
one of a number of similar works, containing 
rules of conduct and instructions on points of 
Eastern etiquette especially intended for the 
information of the princes and nobility. 

It is said to have been " compiled " by the 
Sultan Agung of Mataram. According to Vreede, 
the language of the " Niti Praja" is not Kavi, but 
it is written in the " stiff and artificial language 
common to the ethical treatises." The following 
passages are taken from translations which 
appear in Raffles' account of the work : — 

" A good prince must protect his subjects 
against all unjust persecutions and oppressions, 
and should be the light of his subjects, even as 
the sun is the li^ht of the world. His oroodness 
must flow clear and full like the mountain stream, 


which, in its course towards the sea, enriches and 
fertilizes the land as it descends. 

" When a prince gives audience to the public, 
his conduct must be dignified. He must sit 
upright, and not in a bending posture, and say 
little, neither looking on one side or the othe«r, 
because, in this case, the people would not have 
a si^ht of him." 

The following paragraph, which deals with the 
duty of a prime minister, is conceived in a spirit 
more suitable for the court of a constitutional 
monarch than for that of an Eastern potentate. 

" It is a disgrace to a prime minister for any 
hostile attack to be made in the country entrusted 
to his charge without his knowledge, or that he 
should be careless or inattentive to the same, 
rather thinking how to obtain the favour of his 
prince than to secure the safety of the country." 

An ambassador is directed to use all means 
within his power for obtaining information con- 
cerning the country to which he is sent. Then 
follow some directions which are specially cha- 
racteristic of Eastern life. 


" The letter must be carried on the shoulder, 
and in his gait and speech he must conduct him- 
self with propriety. In delivering the letter he 
must present himself with dignity, approach first, 
and then retire from the person to whom the 
letter is directed, speak with him at a distance, 
and not too familiarly." 

The " Surya Ngalam " is the most important 
of a group of legal treatises. Its author, or 
rather compiler, from whom it takes its title, 
was a Sultan of Demak, the first of the Moham- 
medan states founded in Java. It is a com- 
pendium of Mohammedan law. 

The modern version of the " Surya Ngalam " 
commences, " There was a certain raja of the 
West, named Sang Probu Suria Alem, who, being 
duly qualified, did, in the establishment of 
divine justice, frame a code of judicial regula- 
tions, consisting of one thousand five hundred and 
seven articles, which being afterwards digested 
and reduced to the number of one hundred and 
forty-four, were by him made known and 
explained to all the people of the countries 


under his authority, thereby diffusing knowledge 
and righteousness where ignorance and wicked- 
ness before prevailed." 

I have already mentioned the jaksa,* as 
receiving information of offences, and sitting 
in the courts as assessor to the European 
judge-president. There are some very drastic 
punishments provided for this official in the 
section of the " Surya Ngalam " which treats of 
his duties-. 

" In the first place, he must possess a sufficient 
knowledge of the law, to know how to act in 
regard to cases which may come before him. . . . 
If the jaksa be found ignorant of these matters, 
he shall have his tongue cut out. ... In the 
third place, any incorrect statement in writing 
shall be punished by the loss of both hands." 

Among the modern Javanese works there 
appear a number of romances, of which the 
"Johar Manikam," which is taken from the 
Arabic, is an example. She was a sort of Javan 
Una, and the poem tells of her various deliver- 

* In Chapter III. 


ances from dangers, moral and physical. It com- 
mences with a sentence which is subtle enoueh 
for the nineteenth-century era. I quote this and 
the two following lines : — 

" That is true love which makes the heart uneasy. 
There was a woman who shone like a gem in the world, for 

she was distinguished by her conduct, and her name 

was Jowar Manikam. 
Pure was her conduct like that of a saint, and she never 

forgot her devotions to the deity : all evil desires were 

strangers to her heart." 

The dramatic works fall naturally into two 
divisions. The circle of poems, partly historical, 
which recount the adventures of Panji, the 
" knight " or national hero of Java, and which 
are called, after his name, "the Panjis;" and 
the wayang plays. The Panjis are important 
as alone supplying the Javan theatre with 
subjects for its representations. Among the 
titles of the various works included in the 
group are such as these : " The marriage of 
Panji and Angreni," " The History of the Lady 
Kurana, Princess of Bali," and " Panji and his 
Amours." There appears to be great uncertainty 
as to the origin and date of these poems. Vreede, 


after giving Raffles' account of the " Angrene ' 
— the title under which the Panjis appear to 
have been then (i 8 1 9) known — says that he 
has quoted the account of Raffles verbatim 
"because, notwithstanding the palpable inac- 
curacies of his conclusions, seeing our faulty 
information about the origin, the date, the 
authors, and the compilation of the Panji 
narratives, his indications may have, for all we 
know, great value." 

As to the works directly due to the introduction 
of the Arabic lansruaofe and literature simultane- 
ously with the establishment of the Mohammedan 
power in the island, it is certainly remarkable, 
considering the completeness of the Mohammedan 
conquest and its long duration, that the Javanese 
laneuaee should show such few sioms of Arabic 
influences as it does at the present time. The 
Koran was rendered into Javan verse a century 
and a half ago. Beside the various adaptations 
from the Arabic, there are a large number of 
Arabic treatises current in Java. Long ago 
Arabic schools were established in the island, and 


of these schools that in the district of Pranaraga 
at one time boasted of having as many as fifteen 
hundred scholars. 

I shall conclude this account of the Javanese 
literature with a short description of the native 
theatre, and of the wayang. 

As I have already mentioned, the subjects of 
the topeng, or Javan drama, are invariably taken 
from the group of Panji poems. The actors are 
dressed in the costumes of ancient times, and are 
gaudily decked with cheap jewellery, velvet, 
leather, and gold-embroidered cloths. A special 
characteristic of the native theatre is the fact that 
the actors wear masks and do not themselves 
speak, but the words of the play are recited by the 
dalang, or manager. The only occasion on which 
they depart from this practice is when the perform- 
ance is given before one of the native princes, and 
in this case they also appear without their masks. 
In the performance of their somewhat limited 
functions they display considerable skill and 
histrionic capacity, but the piece resembles a 
ballet rather than a drama.* The recitations of 

* See p. 56. 


the dalang are accompanied by the music of the 
gamelan, which, as in the case of the wayang, 
forms the orchestra. A topeng company numbers 
eleven persons — the dalang, six actors, and four 
gamelan musicians. 

The subjects of the wayang plays are taken 
from the Kavi poems, from the Panjis, and 
especially from the chronicles. Some of these 
plays, or lampahans, are in metre, others are in 
prose. Both alike consist of summaries of the 
original poems on which they are based, and are 
intended for the use of the dalang. It is notice- 
able, however, that the wayang commands a far 
wider range of subjects than the theatre. 

In the true wayang the figures themselves 
are not seen, but only their shadows. The 
dalang places a transparent curtain, stretched 
over a frame ten feet long by five high, between 
himself and the audience. He then fixes his 
figures in the bamboo bar immediately in front 
of him, and throws their shadows on to the 
curtain by placing a lamp behind them. At 
the same time he moves the arms with wires 
in order to produce the effect of action. The 


wayang dolls are singularly grotesque. There 
is an interesting tradition which ascribes this 
distortion to a deliberate purpose. According 
to this account, after the Mohammedan conquest 
and the subsequent conversion of the Javanese 
to Islamism, it became necessary to reconcile the 
continued enjoyment of the national pastime with 
the precept of the new religion which forbade the 
dramatic representation of the human form. A 
means of escaping from the dilemma was 
discovered by the susunan of that day, who 
ordered the wayang figures to be distorted to 
their present grotesque shapes. His line of 
argument was ingenious. The world, he said, 
would now no longer recognize the figures of the 
wayang as representations of humanity. The 
Javanese, however, would recognize the persons 
whom the figures were intended to reproduce 
from their knowledge of the national traditions. 
Even if they should eventually come to forget 
the nature of the originals good would arise, for 
they would then believe that it was only since 
their conversion to the faith of the prophet that 
their ancestors had assumed a human shape. 


There are two forms of the shadow wayang, 
the purva and the gedog. The subjects of the 
first are taken from the various mythological 
works of the Hindu period, and from the Bharata 
Yuddha. In presenting this wayang, the dalang 
first recites a few verses in Kavi, and then 
continues the narrative in a modern Javanese 
version. This wayang is especially useful as 
serving to keep alive some knowledge of the 
literary dialect among the common people. The 
wayang gedog differs from the former in so far 
as its subjects belong to a later period, and no 
Kavi verses are recited. The gamelan also 
which accompanies the dalang is somewhat 
different. Pangi is the favourite hero of the 
wayang gedog, though he is not represented so 
exclusively as in the theatre. In both of these 
wayangs the dalang often improvises the dialogue 
with which the narrative is interspersed. 

I have described the wayang klitik in my account 
of my visit to Tji Wangi. The performance is 
oqven without the intervention of a curtain, and 
the figures in the wayang are slightly smaller 
and not nearly so skilfully constructed as in the 



two former. The wayang klitik takes its subjects 
from the period of the Mohammedan invasion. 

The dalangs are held in great respect by the 
common people, and many of them possess their 
own sets of wayang puppets. It is customary for 
the native princes to keep a dalang at their 
palaces ; in this case, of course, the figures and 
gamelan do not belong to the dalang, but to 
the prince. 


( 263 ) 



Bataviaand Singapore — Raffles' arrival in the East — Determines 
to oppose the Dutch supremacy in the Archipelago — 
Occupation of Java — Is knighted — Returns from England 
— Foundation of Singapore — Uncertainty whether the 
settlement would be maintained — His death — Description 
of Singapore — Epilogue. 

A fortnight after my visit to Tji Wangi I left 
Java. As the train took us from Batavia to the 
port, I caught a glimpse of the sea over the 
palm-trees, and I felt something of the exultation 
which prompted the remnant of the ten thousand 
Greeks to exclaim, " The sea ! the sea ! " I had 
tired of the steamy atmosphere of Batavia, and 
that line of blue seemed full of revivifying power. 
Three days later we reached Singapore. Here 
everything was bright and new and English — 
miles of wharfs crowded with shipping, broad 


streets, the cathedral spire en evidence, tall ware- 
houses, and handsome Government buildings. 
Watering-carts replaced the bamboo buckets in 
the streets, and English iron and stone work the 
quaint lamps and antiquated masonry. There 
the Dutch lived by themselves ; the wide streets, 
education, Christianity, were for them exclusively. 
Here it was otherwise. Even the native streets 
were well drained and lighted ; for the English- 
man shares his civilization with the native races. 
The glory of the place is its splendidly turfed 
and tree-clad esplanade ; and in the centre of the 
broad carriage-road there stands the statue of 
Sir Stamford Raffles, for five years Lieutenant- 
Governor of Java and the founder of Singapore. 

The British occupation of Singapore arose so 
directly out of the cession of Java, that a descrip- 
tion of the circumstances which led to this event 
will suitably complete my account of that 

After some years' service as a clerk in the East 
India house in London, Raffles was despatched 
in 1805, when only twenty-three years of age, 




















to the East, as assistant-secretary to the Govern- 
ment of Penanof, where a settlement was then 
being formed by the company. In this capacity 
he so distinguished himself as to attract the 
notice of Lord Minto, then Governor-General of 
India. In particular Raffles made himself ac- 
quainted, as no other European had done before, 
with the circumstances and character of the 
Malay races. Subsequently, in view of the 
annexation of Holland by Napoleon, it became 
desirable for the Indian Government to take 
some measures to prevent the establishment of 
the French in the Dutch possessions in the East. 
When, as a means to this end, it was determined 
to occupy Java, it was to Raffles that Lord 
Minto applied for the necessary information upon 
which the operations of the expedition could be 
based. The capture of Java was considered of 
such importance that the Governor-General 
himself accompanied the expedition. Raffles' 
information was found to be so accurate, and 
his suggestions so valuable, that after the capi- 
tulation of General Jansens on September 18, 


1 8 1 1, Lord Minto entrusted the island to his 
charge. Up to the present, Raffles had been 
actinof first as a^ent and afterwards as chief 
secretary to the Governor-General ; he was now 
appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Java and its 

I have already written of the principles upon 
which Raffles based his measures during the 
five years of his administration, and of the 
criticism which was directed against them. The 
whole of Raffles' public acts as a servant of 
the company were reviewed by the Court of 
Directors in 1826. The verdict of this very 
competent authority, with reference to the 
financial expedients and the general reforms 
which he adopted in his administration of the 
island, was entirely favourable, if we except 
what refers to the sale of lands, which it charac- 
terized as a " questionable proceeding." It is 
worthy of note, however, that this " questionable 
proceeding " had been pronounced by the 
Governor-General to be " an able expedient in 
a moment of great emergency." Raffles was 


bitterly disappointed when the news reached 
him that, under the settlement effected by the 
Treaty of London, the British Government had 
consented to restore Java to the Dutch. For 
a moment the announcement of Napoleon's 
escape from Elba seemed to bring a chance of 
a reprieve. But this transient gleam of hope 
was soon dispelled, and in March, 18 16, Raffles 
relinquished the government to the imperial 
officer appointed to carry out the transference 
of the island. Lord Minto had secured for him 
the residency of Bencoolen, a settlement on the 
western coast of Sumatra ; but his state of health 
was so unsatisfactory that it became necessary 
for him to proceed to England without delay. 

After a stay of only fifteen months' duration, 
during which he received the honour of knight- 
hood from the king, Raffles again set sail for 
India in October, 18 17. He was appointed to 
the government of Bencoolen, with the title of 
Lieutenant-Governor of Fort Marlborough, and it 
is in this capacity that he signed his Singapore 
proclamations. It appears, however, that he was 


in some way commissioned by the Home Govern- 
ment to exercise a general supervision over 
British interests in the further East. In a letter 
written in 1820 he says that he "had separate 
instructions from the Court to watch the motions 
of foreign nations, and particularly the Dutch, in 
the Archipelago generally, and to write to the 
Court and the Secret Committee."* On his 
arrival at Bencoolen in March, 18 19, he set 
himself once more to achieve that object for 
which he had incessantly worked ever since his 
first appearance in the East — the establishment of 
British influence in Malaya and the Eastern 
Archipelago. With this object in view Raffles 
resolved to proceed to Calcutta, in order that he 
might personally confer with Lord Hastings, 
who had succeeded Lord Minto as Governor- 
General, and secure the co-operation of the 
Bengal Government in his plans. He arrived 
at Calcutta early in July of the same year. Lord 
Hastings expressed a high appreciation of the 
value of Raffles' services in Java, and gave 

* " Memoir of Sir Stamford Raffles, by his widow." 1830. 


him general assurances of his further support. 
Although the Bengal Government were not pre- 
pared to endorse the extension of the British 
authority in Sumatra, they and the British 
merchants at Calcutta were at least rendered 
sensible by Raffles' arguments of the importance 
of endeavouring to check the progress of the 
Dutch in the Malay Peninsula. Of the two 
channels which alone gave access to the Archi- 
pelago, one was already in the hands of the 
Dutch, and the other soon would be. In short, 
unless some immediate and energetic measures 
were taken, the trade of the whole Eastern 
Archipelago would be closed against the English 
merchants. In his own words, Raffles asked for 
neither territory nor people ; all he wanted was 
" permission to anchor a line-of-battle ship and 
hoist the English flag." 

In short, the result of Raffles' visit to Calcutta 
was that the Bengal Government resolved, if 
possible, to keep the command of the Straits of 
Malacca, and he was despatched as their agent to 
effect this purpose. 


It appears that the Bengal Government hoped 
to sufficiently command the straits by an establish- 
ment at Achin, in the extreme north of Sumatra, 
and by taking possession of Rhio, a small island 
south of Singapore. Raffles, however, foresaw — 
what indeed happened — that the Dutch would 
anticipate him in the occupation of Rhio, while 
Achin seemed scarcely suitable for the purpose. 
When he left Calcutta he had another plan in 
view. On December 12, 18 18, he writes from 
on board the Nearchus, at the mouth of the 
Ganges, to his frequent correspondent Marsden, 
the Sumatran traveller — 

" We are now on our way to the eastward, in the 
hope of doing something, but I much fear the 
Dutch have hardly left us an inch of ground to 
stand upon. My attention is principally turned 
to Johore, and you must not be surprised if my 
next letter to you is dated from the site of the 
ancient city of Singapura." 

In carrying out the difficult task which had 
been entrusted to him, Raffles encountered not 
only the opposition of the Dutch, which he 


naturally expected, but that of the Government 
of Penan"". The authorities at PenanQf had a 
double reason for their opposition. In the first 
place, they regarded the establishment of a 
station further east as detrimental to the interests 
of their own settlement ; and, in the next, they 
had themselves unsuccessfully endeavoured to 
acquire a similar position, and now maintained 
that the time had gone by for such measures. 
Fortunately, however, Raffles had already secured 
the services of Colonel Farquhar and a military 
force. This officer was in command of the troops 
at Bencoolen, which, at the time Raffles left 
Calcutta, were on the point of being relieved. 
Raffles had written from Calcutta, instructing 
him to proceed to Europe by the Straits of Sunda, 
where he would receive further instructions. 

Singapore, the spot which Raffles' knowledge 
of the Malay states enabled him to secure for 
his settlement, is a small island, twenty-seven 
miles long by fourteen broad, immediately south 
of the Malay Peninsula, from which it is separated 
by a channel of less than a mile in width. No 


situation could be imagined better calculated to 
secure the objects which the new settlement 
was intended to effect. Not only does the island 
completely command the Straits of Malacca, the 
gate of the ocean highway to China and the 
Eastern Archipelago, but, lying at a convenient 
distance from the Chinese, the Indian, and the 
Javanese ports, it was admirably adapted to 
serve as an entrepot and centre of English 

The island at this time formed part of the 
territory of the Sultan of Johore, and it contained 
the remains of the original maritime capital of 
the Malays. It was within the circuit of these 
Malay fortifications, raised more than six 
centuries ago, that, on the 29th of February, 
1 8 19, Raffles planted the British flag at 

From the very first Raffles fully realized the 
value of the acquisition. On the 19th of February, 
1819, he writes that he has found "at Singapore 
advantages far superior to what Rhio afforded." 
And in the same letter he says, "In short, 


Singapore is everything we could desire, and I 
may consider myself most fortunate in the 
selection ; it will soon rise into importance, and 
with this single station alone, I would undertake 
to counteract all the plans of Mynheer." 

Raffles was not able to remain for more than 
a few days at Singapore. He hurried on to 
Achin, and, after completing the object of his 
mission there, returned to his residency at 
Bencoolen. But the new settlement rapidly 
progressed under Colonel Farquhar's able ad- 
ministration. A year afterwards, this officer 
writes to Raffles that "nothing can possibly 
exceed the rising trade and general prosperity 
of this infant colony." He adds, " Merchants 
of all descriptions are collecting here so fast 
that nothing is heard in the shape of complaint 
but the want of more ground to build on." 

In spite of this immediate assurance of 
prosperity, it remained for a long time uncertain 
whether the British Government would maintain 
the settlement. 

The right of possession was from the first 



disputed by the Dutch. Raffles himself suc- 
cinctly states in a letter to Marsden the basis 
upon which this rested. It appears, from his 
letter, that the Dutch had secured the cession 
of Rhio from the Sultan of Lingen, whom they 
recognized as the Sultan of Johore. On his 
arrival at Singapore, Raffles was visited by one 
of the two chief hereditary officials of Johore, 
who represented to him that an elder brother of 
the Sultan of Lingen was the legal successor 
to that throne, adding, that as the Dutch had 
negotiated with an incompetent authority, it 
was still open to the English to effect a 
settlement on the territory of Johore. This 
elder brother was subsequently recognized by 
the nobles at the court of Johore, and it was 
with this personage, in his capacity of Sultan 
of Johore, that Raffles concluded his treaty, and 
obtained permission to establish his settlement. 
The Dutch, on the other hand, maintained that 
the Sultan of Lingen had been legally invested 
with the sovereignty of Johore at the time of 
the occupation ; and, therefore, that the per- 


mission accorded to Raffles was worthless. In 
a letter bearing date July 19, 1820, a corre- 
spondent writes to him from London — 

" You are propably aware of the obstacles 
which have been opposed to the adoption of 
your measures, and even threatened your position 
in the service. Your zeal considerably out- 
stepped your prudence, and the first operations 
of it became known at an unfavourable juncture. 
It was thought that the state of affairs in Europe 
required that they should be discountenanced. 

" The acquisition of Singapore has grown in 
importance. The stir made here lately for the 
further enlargement of the Eastern trade fortified 
that impression. It is now accredited in the 
India House." * 

Undoubtedly the Dutch were making strong 
endeavours at this time to procure the removal 
from the East of a man who had shown himself 
so resolute and capable an opponent of their 
commercial system. Raffles himself writes from 
Bencoolen in July, 1820, "After all, it is not 
* " Memoir of Sir Stamford Raffles." 


impossible the ministry may be weak enough 
to abandon Singapore, and to sacrifice me, 
honour, and the Eastern Archipelago to the 
outrageous pretensions of the Dutch." For- 
tunately he had powerful friends, and he was 
not immediately recalled. Meanwhile he con- 
tinued to hold the settlement on his personal 
responsibility against the efforts of both the 
British and Dutch East India Governments. 
In eighteen months it had grown from an 
insignificant fishing village to a port with 
a population of 10,000 inhabitants. During 
the first two and a half years of its existence 
Singapore was visited by as many as 2889 
vessels, with an aggregate burden of 161,515 
tons. The total value of its exports and im- 
ports for the year 1822 amounted to no less 
than 8,568,172 dollars.* 

Raffles returned to Singapore on the 10th 
of October, 1822, on his way to England. He 
remained in the settlement for nine months, 

* The Mexican dollar, which varies in value, but is worth 
about four shillings. 


and during this time employed himself in laying- 
out the city, and in drawing up rules and regu- 
lations for the government of its people. In one 
of his letters he expresses a hope " that, though 
Singapore may be the first capital established 
in the nineteenth century, it will not disgrace 
the brightest period of it." 

The position of Raffles in respect to Singapore 
was indeed remarkable. Though a servant of 
the company for five years, he was personally 
responsible for the administration of the settle- 
ment, and neither the Bengal Government nor 
the Court of Directors in London would relieve 
him. In the report which he sent to the 
Bengal Government before returning to England, 
he states the main principles upon which he 
has based the regulations which he framed. 
At the head of them stands a declaration of 
the principle of free trade. 

" First I have declared that the port of 
Singapore is a free port, and the trade thereof 
open to ships and vessels of every nation, free 
of duty, equally and alike to all." It was a 



hatred of their monopolist policy which had 
especially inspired Raffles in his opposition 
to the Dutch. In respect of the question of 
the authority of his legislation, he writes that 
he considered himself justified in thus pro- 
visionally legislating for the settlement by reason 
of the existence of "an actual and urgent 
necessity for some immediate and provisional 
arrangements." He further states that in framing 
these regulations he has, while giving due weight 
to local considerations, "adhered as closely as 
possible to those principles which from im- 
memorial usage have ever been considered the 
most essential and sacred parts of the British 

Before he left Singapore, Raffles selected 
twelve merchants and appointed them to act 
as magistrates for a year. He also provided 
for a succession of such magistrates, who were 
to be chosen from a list kept by the Resident. 

Raffles' career was cut short by his sudden and 
premature death, which took place on the 5th of 
July, 1826. He had lived, however, long enough 


to see the merit of his public conduct established 
by the judgment of the Court of Directors, 
which I have already mentioned, and which was 
pronounced in the preceding April. The 
fortunes of Singapore were secured two years 
previously to this event, when the island was 
formally ceded to the British Government by 
the Sultan of Johore, in pursuance of the terms 
of an arrangement then concluded between the 
Dutch and English Governments. Subsequently 
it formed part of the consolidated Government 
of Penang, Singapore, and Malacca. In 1867 
these settlements were converted into a Crown 
colony under the name of the Straits Settlements. 
At the present time the colony so constituted is 
administered by a Governor, and an Executive 
Council of eight members, assisted by a Legisla- 
tive Council consisting of these eight official, and 
seven other unofficial, members. 

The town of Singapore has fully realized 
the expectations of its founder. Its rapid and 
continuous growth is sufficiently indicated by 
the fact that at the present time it possesses 


a population of 182,650 inhabitants; while the 
importance of its trade is demonstrated by the 
fact that more than three million tons of shipping 
entered the port in the year 1889. In con- 
nection with the orrowino - recognition of the 
necessity for an organized system of naval 
defence for the empire, the strategical value 
of Singapore has of late years been greatly 
emphasized, and the defences of the port have 
been strengthened and improved. Batteries have 
been constructed by the colony at a cost of 
,£100,000, which have been furnished with 
guns at the expense of the Imperial Govern- 
ment. At the same time a new harbour, 
including the Tanjong Pagar wharf and docks, 
has been added three miles to the westward, 
where the largest ocean-going steamships can 
find ample space. 

The original "fort" is still conspicuous in the 
centre of the town, and behind it are the gently 
rising hills on which the bungalows of the 
English residents are for the most part built. 
At evening the blinds are drawn up to welcome 


the reviving breath of the sea, and from the open 
windows of these bungalows appears a panoramic 
scene of singular extent and beauty, and one 
which forms a fitting background to the Eastern 
viands and Chinese servants which give a 
Singapore dinner-party a character of its own. 

The ricsha furnishes the streets with an 
additional element of picturesqueness. These 
charming vehicles are not used, however, by 
Europeans during the day. Then the Anglo- 
Saxon instinct for respectability (or some more 
subtle reason) prescribes the use of the ghari, 
which is practically a four-wheeled cab with 
Venetian blinds substituted for windows. The 
ricsha is especially used by the Chinese, who, as 
in Java, have contrived to get most of the retail 
trade into their hands, and many of whom are 
extremely wealthy and greatly attached to the 
British connection. In addition to the public 
offices, the most noticeable buildings are the 
Government House, which stands on a slight 
elevation and is surrounded by a park, the 
cathedral, and the Raffles Museum. Near the 


Cavanagh Bridge — a handsome iron suspension 
bridge which spans the river — is the hospitable 
and commodious Singapore club ; and just outside 
the town there is a fine race-course. The 
esplanade together with this latter provide the 
English residents with the means of outdoor 
recreation which are so essential in the tropics. 
I have already spoken of the great advantage 
which Singapore possesses over Batavia in the 
singular healthiness of its climate. Almost the 
first sight which I saw on my arrival was that of 
an English crowd surrounding the tennis courts 
on the esplanade, where a very considerable 
tournament was proceeding. It is by such 
pursuits as these, polo, golf, cricket, and tennis, 
that the insidious languor of the East can alone 
be resisted. 

There are times when, among the prosaic 
surroundings of this work-a-day world, our senses 
are unexpectedly stirred by some undetected 
stimulus which sets in motion a train of memories. 
Such memories penetrate even the gloomy recesses 





1 --g 5 ^ 



7><?^ 282. 


of Temple chambers. Sometimes they bring with 
them a waft of perfume from the warm pine 
woods that clothe the slopes of Table Mountain ; 
sometimes a vision of glassy waters walled by the 
sheer mountain heights of New Zealand Sounds ; 
or it may be a sense of calm swan-like motion 
over the sunlit reaches of the Hawkesbury. Not 
least interesting among such memories I count 
the recollection of a time when life was lived on 
a verandah, in the twilight of palm leaves, and 
its needs were served by dusky ministers whose 
footfall brought no disturbing sound. 

It is not so very long ago since Mr. Lucy 
wrote that a man in search of " pastures new " 
might do worse than try Japan. I would add 
that, having tried Japan (and who has not ?), he 
might do worse than take to Java. Here, in an 
island where the business of the great world is 
heard only as the murmur of a neighbouring 
stream, he will find an ancient and interesting 
civilization still existing, some vast Hindu ruins, 
and the gardens of Buitenzorg. 




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